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Story Highlights

  • The Government of Jamaica has partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to host Latin America and the Caribbean’s largest annual entrepreneurship and microfinance conference in Montego Bay, St. James, in October.
  • The conference, under the theme ‘Creating Opportunities through Financial Inclusion’ is expected to attract some 1,500 participants from 42 countries.
  • Minister Shaw said the staging of FOROMIC in Jamaica is relevant at this time, considering the Government’s focus on the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) sector as an engine for economic growth and development.

The Government of Jamaica has partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to host Latin America and the Caribbean’s largest annual entrepreneurship and microfinance conference in Montego Bay, St. James, in October.

FOROMIC, which seeks to provide a space for business and financial innovations, as well as a platform for microfinance, will be held from October 24 to 26 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, in his address at the press launch of the event at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew today (Aug. 30), said the conference is expected to boost business tourism and will also create opportunities for Jamaican entrepreneurs to pursue commerce with regional counterparts.

“It is also an opportunity for other stakeholders such as public entities, academics, umbrella interest groups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and development funding agencies to meet and exchange experiences and current challenges encountered by the microfinance industry within the region,” he said.

The conference, under the theme ‘Creating Opportunities through Financial Inclusion’ is expected to attract some 1,500 participants from 42 countries. Discussion will focus on areas such as ethical banking, policy tools to stimulate innovation, agricultural and climate financing as well as smart mobility solutions.

The first day of the event, dubbed: ‘Host Country Day’, will feature presentations from Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, as well as several notable local private- and public-sector leaders.

Minister Shaw said the staging of FOROMIC in Jamaica is relevant at this time, considering the Government’s focus on the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) sector as an engine for economic growth and development.

SMEs, he noted, account for approximately 90 per cent of jobs in the economy.

Country Representative and General Manager for the Caribbean Country Department with the IDB, Therese Turner-Jones, in her remarks, noted that the conference seeks to ensure that everyone is included in the financial system and that the economy grows.

She said the conference’s focus on financial inclusion is important as Jamaica continues to make strides in regularising and strengthening its financial system.

FOROMIC was first held in 1998 to promote innovations in the microfinance and SME development sectors.

In 2015, almost 1,200 participants from 41 countries attended the event in Santiago, Chile.

Participants include stakeholders from microenterprises and the SME sectors, representatives from financial institutions, entrepreneurship associations, governments, NGOs, academic and research institutions, among others.

The staging of FOROMIC in Jamaica is being sponsored by the National Commercial Bank (NCB) and the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).