Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda says the micro and small business sector remains a viable industry, despite other claims by some stakeholders.
“I think that our micro and small business sector is very vibrant. There are players in the sector who have failed…because they have failed to seize the moment to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves, despite the challenges,” he said.
The Minister was addressing a seminar on small and medium enterprise development, today (September 8), at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda (left), greets Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Hiroshi Yamaguchi when he arrived at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, today (September 8), to participate in a seminar on small and medium enterprise development, put on by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.
Mr. Samuda explained that today’s event, which is the final of a two part seminar put on by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, could be viewed as the commencement of a revitalisation of the sector.
“We are now on the eve of the resurrection of the small business sector, if we assume that it had been dead or made to die. The fact of the matter is that I don’t think (it is dead),” he said, in reference to the recent staging of a ‘funeral service’ for the sector by the Small Business Alliance.
The Minister said he was encouraged by those who are prepared to confront the issues and to bring about change in how they do business, adding that greater creativeness and innovativeness have to be adopted in order ensure that the small business sector thrives.
“A country of our size and the small business sector within it, will never really thrive, unless we start looking at ways of being more creative and more innovative,” Mr. Samuda said.
Emphasising that innovation is at the root of success for a country such as Jamaica, the Minister said the sector needs to look at creating new products and techniques, offering better services with new ideas and accepting applied technology from more developed countries like Japan.
He noted that the adaptation of these and other tools could make Jamaica more competitive, “and be able to take its rightful place in the areas of craft development and small niche markets of the world.”
Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Hiroshi Yamaguchi, in his comments, said that micro, small and medium size enterprises could serve as a major engine of growth for Jamaica.
He said that Japan would continue to co-operate with Jamaica in helping to boost the small business sector.
Resident Representative of JICA, Kineo Nishiyama said that the office in Jamaica has been co-operating in small and medium size enterprise promotion, offering training courses for Jamaican professionals every year .