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JMA backs Shaw: banks, lower your interest rates!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA) has thrown its support behind Finance Minister Audley Shaw who made a call for commercial banks to lower their interest rates on loans to small, micro and medium-sized enterprises (SME's).

The JMA in a statement today said it has long been established that minimising existing impediments, such as high interest rates, is imperative to increasing Jamaica's competitive advantage as the island seeks to position itself as the place of choice to invest and do business. “We must come together as the nation's stakeholders to advance Jamaica's true potential through meaningful reform,” the JMA said in its statement.

The JMA joined the finance minister in beseeching the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and financial institutions to play their role in advancing the nation's objectives, by actively reducing the mark-up they currently employ to no more than one per cent and three per cent respectively.

The organisation said that banks should also make more effort to inform potential borrowers that these special loans are available.

Additionally, it said it believe that the DBJ should make funds available to the manufacturing industry at below five per cent, as is the current arrangement for other key industries.

This arrangement, it said, is well deserved and overdue given that the manufacturing sector employs over 79,000 people, the second largest contributor to the country's taxes of any individual sector, and the largest contributor to GDP of the goods-producing sector.

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