Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, has called on the CARICOM Secretariat to establish a monitoring mechanism for the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which would, among other things, enable countries to share best practices.
He noted that there is no mechanism in place to ensure that the success that one member state has achieved in terms of small business development is passed on to other countries.
“You can’t be talking about development in a co-ordinated way, but when it comes to sharing technology, research and strategies, you only hear about what each other is doing in the corridors. You may be passing an official, who might mention what development is taking place in one of our countries,” Mr. Samuda stated.
He was addressing a regional forum on ‘Access to Credit and Financing for SMEs this morning (December 8) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda (centre) and Coordinator of the Management Unit of the IBERPYME Programme, Latin America and the Caribbean Economic System, Gonzalo Capriles (left), listen to a point from Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Reginald Budhan, at this morning’s (Dec.8) forum on ‘Access to Credit and Financing for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)’ held at the Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
According to Minister Samuda, the region must act expeditiously in ensuring that “we get up to speed if we are really going to lay a solid foundation for the financing of the basic infrastructure that will drive the micro and small business sector.”
Turning to other matters, he said that Caribbean countries must reject the notion of monopolies as an essential ingredient or even as a key player in the region.
Monopolies, he said, “breed complacency and complacency breeds high prices for the consumers.”
“We must break up monopolies where we find them and we must apply measurements that demand that they produce at the most competitive prices,” he stated.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Reginald Budhan (right) greets Co-ordinator of the Management Unit of the IBERPYME Programme, Latin America and the Caribbean Economic System, Gonzalo Capriles (centre), at this morning’s (Dec.8) forum on ‘Access to Credit and Financing for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)’ held at the Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. Sharing the moment at left is Specialist for Private Sector Facilitation, Caribbean Community Secretariat, Leela Ramoutar.
Ambassador of Spain to Jamaica and CARICOM, His Excellency Jesus Silva, in concurring with Minister Samuda, stated that “economic liberalisation is the key to a dynamic and efficient economy.”
“Sometimes, some people in the small islands use the opportunity of being small to ask for protection in the long-run. It is wrong for everybody, for the customer, for the efficiency of the country, and for productivity,” he stated.
The one-day forum sought to examine the development of SMEs in the region in terms of job and investment generation.