Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill.
<p>Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, says micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) should take advantage of the assistance being offered by local funding agencies, to broaden their appeal overseas.</p>
<p>Senator Hill, who was addressing the MSME Business Roadshow at the Half Moon Conference Centre in Montego Bay, St. James, on October 26, said his Ministry and all its relevant agencies will be targeting small business operators, offering expert help and guidance to better prepare them for the export market.</p>
<p>“The reason why we are taking on this roadshow is to make sure that MSMEs get the help that they want from the funding agencies that we have. We enable them, we facilitate them, we encourage them, but also we are saying to them, don’t just look at the Jamaican market. We have only three million people, and our per-capita gross domestic product (GDP) is relatively low at about US$5,000,” Mr. Hill noted.</p>
<p>“We cannot get rich selling to only three million people who have a per capita GDP of US$5,000. It’s not like we have another country beside us like Spain, Portugal, France, and Germany. We are going to have to go overseas and negotiate something, or prepare our MSME companies to go overseas,” he added.</p>
<p>Mr. Hill reminded that the MSME sector constitutes 60 to 70 per cent of all jobs and contributes 44 per cent to GDP, noting that their importance cannot be overstated.</p>
<p>He said it is the Government’s intention to make the sector even bigger and more lucrative, adding that “we have the tools to make it possible”.</p>
<p>“Those are big numbers for the country, and you would tend to think that those big numbers would largely come from big companies. Big companies do lots of other good things, but the MSME sector is vital for the employment of many people across Jamaica,” the Minister said.</p>
<p>There are approximately 64,000 people who are employed in the MSME sector.</p>
<p>Mr. Hill said the roadshows will see business operators getting the chance to have a series of up-close and personal one-on-one sessions through interactions with 20 agencies aligned to the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, as well as sharing sessions and business pitch competitions, which should boost local businesses in a big way.</p>
<p>The first roadshow was held in Mandeville, Manchester, on August 10, while the next two are scheduled to be held in Ocho Rios, St. Ann on November 1 and in Kingston on November 21.</p>
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The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce is described as Jamaica's "Business Ministry." It's mandate is to lead the development of policies that will create growth and jobs, while achieving social inclusion and consumer protection. The Ministry, working its stakeholders is primarily responsible for business policy development, monitoring and evaluation, while giving direction and oversight to a cluster of implementing departments and agencies.
We have, therefore, placed much energy and enthusiasm into the development of this website to provide timely information on the Ministry, our agencies and programmes.