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Vice President of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA), Omar Azan has emphasized the importance of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), as they are “essential to the development of industry in Jamaica”.
“Countries like the United States of America are cognizant of the importance of SMEs, and have sought to create an enabling environment for these businesses to grow,” Mr. Azan said.
He was speaking at the launch of Kumba Mi Yabba 2006, which was held at the Jamaica Business Development Centre (JBDC) head office on Camp Road, yesterday (November 29).
“We need to adopt the same mentality and ensure that local businesses are encouraged and policies are implemented to support the growth of local industry,” Mr. Azan said.
He argued that “the continuous battle with interest rates” was a deterrent for those who owned and operated small businesses, and emphasized the necessity for the banking institutions, “to create special ‘single-digit’ interest rates in order to facilitate development”.
“This is why we need to continue to lobby the financial sector, to ensure that there is some ease in receiving loans for these businesses to retool, in order to be more competitive,” he pointed out.He noted that the JMA and the JBDC “are both seeking to present opportunities for the growth and development of the Jamaican economy and the small business sector”.
Kumba Mi Yabba, he said, was important to the Jamaican productive sector, “as it provides an avenue for showcasing quality Jamaican products and the talent of our Jamaican people”.
“The public will be visually stimulated by the quality craft items from across the island and will bear witness to the creativity of our fellow Jamaican citizens,” he said.
Kumba Mi Yabba will be staged from December 22 to 24 on the lawns of The Devon House.