In the face of challenging economic times, the Target Growth Competitiveness Committee (TGCC) and the Jamaica Trade & Invest (JTI) staged a public consultation October 29 on the development of the National Policy Framework to strengthen local micro, small and medium sized enterprises MSMEs, which account for about 80% of the Jamaican workforce.
Largely acknowledged by global economies as a vital engine of growth, the MSME sector is currently being positioned to make a larger contribution to the buoyancy of the Jamaican economy. The public consultation, which was held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel, brought together key business leaders, members of academia, civil society and government policymakers to exchange ideas.
The first phase of the Policy Framework development initiated by TGCC in 2008, concentrated on financing and human resource development. This year, the second phase of the development tackled Extension and Support Services, and Marketing; Legal, Administrative and Regulatory Issues; Networking and Clustering, and Science, Technology, Research and Development. These were explored extensively during open discussions throughout the forum.
The Hon. Karl Samuda, Minister of Industry, Investment & Commerce, who was unavoidable absent, had his opening comments delivered by his Permanent Secretary, Reginald Budhan. Dr. David Tennant, a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, and head consultant on the MSME Policy Framework, delivered the keynote presentations, while Dr. Rosalea Hamilton, Vice President of Development at the University of Technology (Utech), Jamaica, and President of the MSME Alliance, moderated the forum.
The efforts of TGCC and JTI as it relates to the development of the MSME policy framework have assumed greater importance in the light of the global economic crisis. The vitality of the sector is of national importance and the development of this framework represents an earners approach to tailoring the Government’s policy for MSMEs. When it is ultimately implemented, local entrepreneurs will be equipped with more tools that will enable them to achieve greater stability and enhanced competitiveness.
The TGCC is one of the 12 components of the Government of Jamaica and European Union-funded Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP), an initiative geared at improving the competiveness of Jamaican MSMEs. JTI is the main implementing agency of the PSDP. The TGCC seeks to facilitate collaboration between the private sector, government and academia to improve the environment in which Jamaican MSMEs operate. This includes lobbying for policies and building public awareness on competitiveness issues.
For further information, contact:
Target Growth Competitiveness Committee
(876) 978-3337 ext. 2137
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