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The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), is to assume responsibility for all activities relating to micro and small business development, Industry, Investment, and Commerce Minister, Karl Samuda, has announced.
Speaking at a media briefing at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on October 24, Mr. Samuda said that activities at the Ministry would be restructured, to facilitate the transfer of this portfolio from the investment promotion agency, Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI). Both the JBDC and JTI are agencies of the Ministry.
“This is what I think would be the most suitable structure to guide the process, and to make the difference between the types and levels of activities that take place within the micro and small business sector. Because, what the JTI must do, is focus on medium and large size businesses, promotion of foreign investment, and the facilitation of both of those sectors, and not be bogged down, as it were, with areas that are best suited in organisations dedicated to dealing with micro and small business development,” the Minister pointed out.
Mr. Samuda said meetings are scheduled to be held with the agencies to discuss the undertaking.
On another matter, Mr. Samuda said efforts are being made to transform the appearances of the Ministry’s agencies, in order that they would reflect their areas of engagement and specialty, noting that currently, this was not the case with some.
“You can’t walk into an investment agency of Government. into their head office, and when you walk in, you don’t know whether you are in an investment environment, or you are in a doctor’s office. It must appear to be what it is, and it must facilitate those people who are engaged in exports and in innovation, (and) it must give exposure to what work is being done,” the Minister argued.
In this regard, Mr. Samuda charged Acting Permanent Secretary, Reginald Budhan, with the task of spearheading that thrust.
“Let us make it clear where the lines of authority, and responsibility ultimately lie. It doesn’t lie in the President or Chief Executive Officer of an organisation. It lies with the Permanent Secretary, who is in charge, and it is to him that I am looking to ensure that these things get done,” Mr. Samuda said.