The Prime Minister while speaking at the DBJ’s Ignite Closing Ceremony today [April 27] said key to growth is to support the private sector.
“We must stimulate innovation, through creating start-ups, increasing the number of start-ups and growing these entities. We must allocate or make investments which will support our start-ups and we need to enrich the MSME eco-system. This is vital for our economic growth and development,” said Prime Minister Holness.
Responding to comments that Government policies make it difficult for new businesses to acquire a loan, Mr. Holness said the Government has to put in place policies that support the development of small businesses.
“The real fix is that government has to change polices, government has to be more instrumental and more proactive in putting in place policies that support the development of businesses and in particular support the development of an eco-system that supports the development of small business,” stated Mr. Holness.
He said that lending should be increased to the MSME which would mean that businesses will now have to formalize their operation.
“We have to support our businesses in becoming formalized. It may be costly, the bureaucracy comes with a cost but when you are formalized you are registered and compliant, then banks are able to better assess the risk that they are taking,” said Prime Minister Holness.
Mr. Holness further stated that greater effort must be made to ensure that the developing businesses are not just growing in silos but are also linking together.
“We should find ways to support businesses into markets overseas to ensure that you get into the gift shops in the hotels, to make sure that you get exposed. So I know that there is that component but we need to emphasize it, to make sure that your products find the market, that’s the linkage,” said Mr. Holness
In the meantime, the Prime Minister said he believes the country is on the right path for growth.
“I’m confident that we are on the right track. We are doing the things that are necessary and we are not hoping for growth to happen organically. We are right there in the field with you doing the granular things such as identifying the creativity the innovativeness and we are taking that creativity and innovativeness and we are giving it support to develop that into entrepreneurism and we are supplying that entrepreneurism with the resources to create an enterprise, an enterprise that will grow, employ people and create the prosperity that we need. That is the job of Government,” expressed Prime Minister Holness.