Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams (right), having a light exchange with Dean and Associate Professor in the College of Business and Management at the University of Technology (UTech), Dr. Paul Golding, at the opening of the 20th Annual Students’ Conference, hosted by UTech at the Jamaica Conference Centre, Downtown Kingston, on March 24.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, says the Government has laid the groundwork for an improved business friendly environment for investors.
Giving the keynote address at the opening of the 20th annual Students’ Conference, hosted by the University of Technology (UTech), at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Downtown Kingston, on March 24, the State Minister highlighted the opportunities that are available for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Speaking on the theme: ‘Building Jamaica’s Global Competitiveness through Training, Innovation and Strategic Alliances’, Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams informed that through the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), its partners, supporting agencies and ministries, there are several policies that will assist the MSME sector.
These include the MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy, which provides a comprehensive framework for implementing programmes and projects to reduce the impediments to entrepreneurial activities; the Security Interests in Personal Property Act, which makes it possible for entrepreneurs to use moveable assets to secure business loans; and the Insolvency Act, which provides for the rehabilitation of the insolvent debtor under Court protection and will help to remove the stigma and constraints associated with bankruptcy.
“The efforts to create an enabling business environment are complemented by the implementation of programmes that give life to the policies and legislation, spearheaded by agencies of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, such as the Export Max Programme, implemented by Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), which helps businesses that are export ready to access global markets,” she said.
“There are also the Business Partnership programme coordinated by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), which works with businesses to become Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) certified for entry into local and foreign (food) markets; and the mobile business clinic, spearheaded by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), which travels across the island in an effort to decentralize the delivery of business development services,” she added.
The State Minister further noted that the Small Business Development Model implemented by the JBDC is a technical and managerial system to assist small business owners with management problems.
“These are just a few examples of what the Government is doing on the ground to create an enabling business environment, providing training and preparing Jamaican businesses to enter the global market,” she said.
Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams urged the conference participants, which comprised students of the College of Business and Management at UTech, to prepare themselves to take advantage of the business opportunities that the logistics hub will generate.
“You are here to create and to build wealth and the global initiative that we have in the logistics hub will bring greater levels of wealth to Jamaica. You are entering into the business atmosphere at the right time,” she told them.
The two-day conference will facilitate networking opportunities for final year students in the areas of Accounting, Finance and Banking, Production and Operations Management and Marketing with industry leaders, who will share their expertise and advice on the challenges faced by businesses in Jamaica.
Published Date: March 25th, 2015
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