Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has announced plans by his Administration to provide more than $14 billion in support for business, tourism interests, and farmers over the next three years.
This, Mr. Holness says, will form part of ongoing financial support to assist in ensuring that the operators of entities in these sectors and, by extension, the wider country are able to recover from the economic impact caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Prime Minister made the announcement during a ceremony at King’s House on Monday (September 7), where he was sworn in to serve as Prime Minister for a second consecutive term.
Mr. Holness said the funding provisions will include $10 billion in loan guarantees to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); $3 billion in agri-care support for farmers and fisherfolk; $1.2 billion in grants to small and medium-sized tourism operators, to be deployed through the EXIM Bank; and $500 million in grants for micro and small community-based businesses.
“This will help our economy recover stronger… and ensure that together we recover stronger,” he said.
Mr. Holness said the Government will also take steps to maintain and strengthen the macroeconomic stability that has been attained.
“We will build and strengthen the institutions that safeguard the sustainability of government finances, low and stable inflation, foreign exchange reserve adequacy and financial sector stability,” he indicated.
Additionally, the Prime Minister said steps will be taken to improve the business climate and invest in improving Jamaica’s competitiveness.
This, he informed, by reforming Customs, developing a national business portal, and increasing technology and business process engineering for greater efficiency in the public sector.
“We will diversify our economy to increase resilience, promote innovation, support youth entrepreneurs, and explore opportunities within the green and blue economies,” Mr. Holness further stated.
In addition, he said the Government will undertake the operationalisation of the Fiscal Council, as also the independence of the Bank of Jamaica.