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  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, has extended a charge for precision and effectiveness to a Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) Thematic Working Group.
  • He further urged greater availability of empirical data to assess how the MSME sector is operating in the country.
  • The MSME Thematic Working Group was formed to serve as the main mechanism for coordinating and monitoring MSME-related strategies and actions, particularly those falling under outcomes presented in the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 Jamaica and the successive Medium Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework (MTF).

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, has extended a charge for precision and effectiveness to a Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) Thematic Working Group.

Addressing the group at their inaugural meeting in the Ministry’s training room on June 22, the Minister called for consensus on how the sector is defined and for a universal understanding of terms related to how it operates.

He further urged greater availability of empirical data to assess how the MSME sector is operating in the country.

Mr. Samuda said data should be available to answer questions such as the number of MSME start-ups and closures over a particular period; number of jobs created by the sector; what subsectors comprise greatest opportunity for economic growth and job creation; and what percentage of the sector actively engages in vocational training.

The MSME Thematic Working Group was formed to serve as the main mechanism for coordinating and monitoring MSME-related strategies and actions, particularly those falling under outcomes presented in the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 Jamaica and the successive Medium Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework (MTF).

Mr. Samuda encouraged an assessment of how capital is provided to the sector as well as an evaluation of whether the commercial banking community adequately monitors loans to operators in the industry.

The Minister said he hopes the Thematic Working Group will arrive at appropriate and concise conclusions.

“If at the end of the exercise, you come away with a set of policy approaches that can assist the Government and the private sector to strengthen the MSME sector and to enable them to be sustainable and to grow and create new jobs for the Jamaican people, then the exercise would have been worth it,” he said.

The Thematic Working Group strategic focus areas include support for the policy and regulatory framework for MSME development; access to capital; diversification of the financing ecosystem of the MSME; promotion and development of a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation; and the advancement of the role of MSMEs in sustainable development, among others.

Director General of Industry and Commerce in the Ministry, Vivian Brown, said the Group will be a principal consultative mechanism which brings together a broad range of critical stakeholders for deliberation on how to ensure the sector grows and develops.