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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, announced today (April 1), that Cabinet has approved renewal of the incentives under the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Junior Market (Junior Stock Exchange), following discussions at its retreat on March 31.
  • Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw; Minister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Fayval Williams, and Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, Mrs. Marlene Street-Forrest, were also in attendance.
  • Mr. Shaw noted that reports indicate that under the Junior Stock Exchange, there have been a number of business expansions as well as significant increases in statutory deductions.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness,  announced  today (April 1), that Cabinet has approved renewal of the incentives under the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Junior Market (Junior Stock Exchange), following discussions at its retreat on March 31.

Mr. Holness said the decision to continue the programme in its original state, for which the benefits would have expired today (April 1), will be executed in the weeks to come.

He was speaking at a meeting with entrepreneurs whose entities are listed on the Junior Stock Exchange, at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), on April 1.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw; Minister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Fayval Williams, and Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, Mrs. Marlene Street-Forrest, were also in attendance.

The Prime Minister urged the business owners to encourage other entrepreneurs to get listed on the Junior Stock Exchange, which he explained, serves to facilitate entrepreneurship, making it easier for persons to source financing, while also creating a system where persons can take risks and get rewarded.

“We are taking the business of growth very seriously and we are not approaching it in an ad hoc way. We are approaching it systematically and we know that growth comes from the growth of businesses…and not just large firms. Indeed, growing the economy means growing it at the base with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs),” he said.

The Junior Stock Exchange was launched on April 1, 2009,  through the collaborative efforts of the Government, the Board of the JSE, the Financial Services Commission and Steering Committee.

It was designed to encourage and promote investment in Jamaica’s entrepreneurship, employment and economic development. It allows investors to put capital into legitimate SMEs, whose shares trade on a special JSE platform.

The Prime Minister emphasised that the stock market is a key element of the Government’s economic growth and development, and job creation strategy. He noted that the Government will also be looking to move state-owned enterprises toward becoming publicly-owned, in order to enable efficiency in governance and service delivery.

“In months to come, you will see the Government going through its register of state-owned enterprises to see which one of them can be placed on the stock market immediately. And that of course will improve the nature and robustness of governance and lead to efficiency,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw expressed thanks to the business owners for their courage and entrepreneurship.

“I want to use this opportunity to invite many more people to join the Junior Stock Exchange as the basis for either new start-ups or expanding their businesses,” he said.

Mr. Shaw noted that reports indicate that under the Junior Stock Exchange, there have been a number of business expansions as well as significant increases in statutory deductions.