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Cabinet submission drafted for use of unclaimed funds in financing MSMEs — Shaw

Monday, July 23, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, says he has a draft Cabinet submission, which was discussed with Minister of Finance Dr Nigel Clarke, to set up a special fund utilising unclaimed funds, held by financial institutions, to support the development of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector.

The minister, who was addressing the Christmas in July trade show held last Thursday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston, said some $15 billion is being held in dormant accounts.

According to a release from the ministry today, Shaw stated that it is time to “stop paying lip service to the tourism linkages concept”, expressing discontent at the sharp decline in production of local produce such as coffee as a result of “excessive imports, while we ignore the production process”.

Shaw commended the Sandals hotel chain for the 4.9 million pounds of local produce bought from local farmers last year, and declared that his ministry along with the Ministry of Tourism was going on a crusade to engage more hotels in utilising local produce and products in the tourism sector.

The ministry said other initiatives being planned to boost production in the MSME sector include the provision of factory space for agro-processing at the old AMC complex on Spanish Town Road in Kingston.

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