The Government of Jamaica today, signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank in the amount of US$20, 000,000.00 or JS$ 2.56 Billon. The loan was signed through the Credit Enhancement Fund which will provide funds to Micro Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSME) through the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).
The Finance Minister reiterated that the Government of Jamaica is committed to providing access to financing to MSMEs. The Minister said that micro entrepreneurs are a significant sector that the commercial banks have often overlooked; and that is why this Credit Enhancement Programme is critical, as it provides an opportunity for MSMEs to be able to build their capacity, expand their business ventures and in so doing create more jobs.
The Finance Minister, the Hon. Audley Shaw further stated that if we are ever to achieve the 5 in 4 plan, or be able to sustain economic growth, we must provide a business environment in which the MSME sector can grow and develop. MSMEs are a critical lynchpin in the economic programme and we cannot continue to overlook the value added and contribution to the Gross Domestic Product that this sector provides.
The Credit Enhancement Fund will provide a partial guarantee per individual MSME loan in the amount not exceeding, US$385,000.00; it is also expected to provide coverage of up to 90% of the individual loan for up to 10 years. Individual loan requests in the areas of agriculture, agri-businesses, business services, construction, energy, manufacturing, retail, tourism, trade and distribution, and other activities not included in the IDB’s Exclusion List will be eligible for partial guarantees. Investors who are undertaking expansion projects, the purchase of equipment and machinery and the increase in permanent capital directly related to MSME activity will be able to access the Credit Enhancement Fund (CEF).
Ms. Julie Katzman, Executive Vice President with the IDB, noted that the Signing of this Agreement concretised IDB’s commitment to the development of the MSME sector in Jamaica, and congratulated the Government for prioritising the sector as the CEF will enhance the capability several thousands of entrepreneurs to expand their businesses and increase employment.
Jamaica continues to benefit from the over 45 year long relationship with the Inter American Bank (IDB) and through their collaboration several initiatives have impacted Jamaica on a macroeconomic level as well as at the individualised socio-economic level.
Communication & Public Relations Branch
Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
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