A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed on June 30 between the EXIM Bank and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) to provide export development support for 48 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking to access new markets for their products and services.
Through the MOU, the EXIM Bank has created a club for exporters in Export Max III to access special services, fixed interest rates, reduced fees, market information, and other benefits that will ease the barriers to exporting for participating companies.
Dubbed ‘Export Club’, it aims to provide export development support for Jamaican companies that are a part of the Government’s Export Max III programme.
Export Max III is being spearheaded by JAMPRO, and is the third staging of the Export Max Project, which was launched in 2011.
It is geared towards providing focused capacity, advocacy and market penetration support to exporters and export-ready firms.
This is intended to competitively position the entities to exploit market opportunities and ultimately make a greater contribution to the local economy. Export Max III (third component), which was launched in 2019, will run for three years.
The signing between EXIM Bank and JAMPRO took place at the Bank’s offices in St. Andrew.
Addressing the function, Managing Director, EXIM Bank, Lisa Bell, said the programme offers greater opportunity for capacity building, export promotion support as well as financing for existing and potential exporters.
“The Export Club has been created so that members of each cohort may benefit from additional support. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Jamaican exporters, because we know there are opportunities and the impact that our partnership in exporting will have on the growth of our economy,” she said.
Included in the support are 20 per cent reduced commitment fees; faster processing time; fixed interest rate of eight per cent, which is 1.5 per cent lower than EXIM’s average rates; six per cent on USD transactions; and 20 per cent reduced fees to cohort only, for workshops or seminars by EXIM.
Also included are market intelligence and information on members’ buyers; access to pre-shipment financing; access to post shipment financing with protection from default on payments by member’s buyers; and trade credit insurance.
Ms. Bell said EXIM is the only institution in the country that offers trade credit insurance, which is an internationally used tool that protects manufacturers, traders and service providers against losses from non-payment of a commercial trade debt.
“As we watch our companies pivot into export, we want to make sure that they have the assurance of being paid by having a credit insurance policy. We also have international lines of credit which will enable SMEs to do business virtually anywhere in the world,” she informed.
Ms. Bell informed that the EXIM Bank, during the COVID-19 pandemic, has offered moratorium on principals and interests as well as restructured medium-term loans.
For her part, President, JAMPRO, Diane Edwards, lauded EXIM Bank for launching the Export Club, noting that it will provide another “huge boost” to the Export Max III programme.
Ms. Edwards said the partnership with the Bank will provide a vital lifeblood for financing for members in the programme.
“This is going to be a real boost for the programme. We think that with EXIM Bank on board, we now have all the right pieces of the puzzle in place, so we are going to go out and conquer the world regardless of COVID-19,” she said.
Meanwhile, she noted that 30 exporters have new contracts or orders since Export Max III’s launch, and that their achievements continue as they seek new opportunities.