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Story Highlights

  • The policy, which was passed in Parliament in July this year, came out of widespread consultation with all stakeholders in the MSME sector.
  • The expected positive impact on the economy will not bear fruit unless the MSME sector is properly integrated into macro-economic level plans.
  • The goals of the MSME Policy are aligned to those of the National Development Plan (Vision 2030).

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, says the recently passed Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Entrepreneurship Policy is geared towards linking all the crucial sectors of the economy to ensure growth.

“One of the opportunities it provides is to make clear that some of the big initiatives relating to the growth agenda of the Government of Jamaica are directly linked to this policy. We are very clear as an administration that unless the MSME sector is made to come alive and to play its role, the impact of the larger initiatives will not yield the benefits, nor the transformational effects,” the Minister explained, while addressing a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ session, held at the agency’s head office in Kingston, on November 12.

The Minister added that the policy, which was passed in Parliament in July this year, came out of widespread consultation with all stakeholders in the MSME sector, and that it is a “framework for addressing Government’s intervention into a sector that is the driver of economic growth and development in any country.”

Minister Hylton pointed out that the expected positive impact on the economy will not bear fruit unless the MSME sector is properly integrated into whatever plans are made on the macro-economic level, and whatever specific initiatives are designed to drive the growth agenda.

The goals of the MSME Policy are aligned to those of the National Development Plan (Vision 2030), which sets out the strategic framework for improving the business environment and ensuring an efficient bureaucracy, adequate access to capital, supportive trade relations, a well functioning labour market and improved opportunities for MSMEs.

“The effort in settling the policy is to provide that framework, and that guide to potential investors, as well as MSME operators, individuals or entities that will seize those opportunities. It is a guide for all the stakeholders, to those specific commitments,” the Minister said.

He further noted that concerns relating to gender, youth, and environmental issues are all addressed in the policy, as well as the role of critical agencies. These agencies, for the most part, are in his Ministry, which makes for easier coordination, he observed.

“Critically, it (the policy) identifies the role for the major players and institutions. The JBDC (Jamaica Business Development Corporation) role is properly defined, but it also recognises that there are critically, other institutions of Government, that must play its part in a joined up way. We looked at the role for the Companies Office, the role for the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office, the role for JAMPRO, the Bureau of Standards, and the role for HEART/NTA,” Minister Hylton stated.

The Government of Jamaica has placed entrepreneurship and MSME development at the forefront of the country’s economic policy agenda, in an effort to provide the best business climate for MSMEs, helping them to achieve financial success, while positioning them to contribute in a big way to the Jamaican economy. It will also help to strengthen Jamaica’s participation in the global trading system.