Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, the Hon. Karl Samuda, has underscored the importance of small business stakeholders utilizing the Internet in advancing their operations.
To this end, he said efforts must be made to facilitate training in the use of this and other information and communications technology (ICT) applications, in order to boost their outputs and, by extension, those of the country.
Speaking at the CoK Co-operative Credit Union Limited’s annual public forum on “Small Business and Entrepreneurship – The Way to Survive in a Recessionary Environment”, at the Terra Nova Hotel, Kingston, Wednesday (October 14), Mr. Samuda lamented that only a small percentage of small business stakeholders were aware of the benefits to be derived from utilizing the Internet in their operations.
“We did a survey of the small business sector at Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), and just about 15 percent, said that they were aware of the benefits that could be derived through the use of the Internet. That has to change,” he asserted.
Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda (left), conversing with General Manager of the CoK Cooperative Credit Union Limited, Jacqueline Mighty, during the institution’s Annual Public Forum held on Tuesday (October 13) at the Terra Nova Hotel, St. Andrew, under the theme: ‘Small Business and Entrepreneurship – The Way to Survive in a Recessionary Environment’. Mr. Samuda was the guest speaker.
Alluding to a recent trip he made to Canada, the Minister said that upwards of 90 per cent of that country’s population accessed the Internet, noting that “everything they do there is virtual”. He noted that access in Jamaica was nowhere near Canada’s, and stressed the need to engender greater appreciation of the technology from an early age.
“All that we do will come to (nothing), unless we get our youngsters, from the basic school level coming right through the primary school level, sufficiently educated and aware of the knowledge of how to use the internet,” Mr. Samuda said.
“Gone are the days when we can ignore the need for ICT and its application. We must come to appreciate that. And that’s why every effort has to be made, and is being made at the local level, to promote businesses that are willing to go in and get involved training, of our students, our adults and those who have dropped out” Mr. Samuda contended.