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  • This has been demonstrated over the past several years by deliberate strategies to address the constraints facing the sector.
  • The Minister noted changes to legislation, such as the Insolvency Bill, which is now being reviewed; and the recent passage of the Secured Interest of Personal Property bill.
  • Minister Phillips was addressing the Fifth Caribbean Microfinance Forum, now underway at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites Hotel, in Montego Bay, on Tuesday, June 3.

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips has reiterated that notwithstanding some of the challenges that exist in the micro financing sector, it remains an area of critical focus for the Government.

He says this has been demonstrated over the past several years by deliberate strategies to address the constraints facing the sector.

Minister Phillips was addressing the Fifth Caribbean Microfinance Forum, now underway at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites Hotel, in Montego Bay, on Tuesday, June 3.

“We believe that the benefits of re-enforcing the capacities of this sector, lie not just in the potential that they offer to strengthening economic growth, but there are social benefits to be derived as well, particularly in a society like Jamaica, and elsewhere in the Caribbean, where so much economic activity is concentrated in so few hands, and where the contours of class and colour exclude so many of our people from the mainstream of economic life,” he argued.

He noted changes to legislation, such as the Insolvency Bill, which is now being reviewed; and the recent passage of the Secured Interest of Personal Property bill, aimed at enhancing access to credit for the Micro Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

The Finance Minister also pointed to the slew of initiatives implemented through the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), all of which are providing greater access to financial services for the sector.

“We in Jamaica and the Caribbean, of necessity, envisage a central role for the micro, small and medium size businesses in our economic future,” he said.

The Minister said emphasis must be placed on the sector because it is an impetus for growth, and the opportunity to enable certain segments of the population to have a stake in a sound, modern macro-economic infrastructure.

“What we would hope for, arising from your deliberations here, is an opportunity for us to benefit from the discussions which we hope would contribute to an elaboration, or even greater level of refinement of the policy framework, which guides the implementation of policy, with respect to the MSME sector,” he stated.