Minister Shaw Pledges to Protect Local Manufacturers

Jamaica News: Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says he will be ensuring that measures are put in place to protect local manufacturers.

“As Minister, I am going to be taking a careful, forensic look, industry by industry, product by product, to make sure that there is a level playing field and that we are putting in a modicum of protection for our businesses that are investing, taking the risks and producing here in Jamaica. We must make sure that we have a level playing field for them to operate in Jamaica,” he said.

He was speaking following a factory tour of Lithographic Printers Limited in downtown Kingston on Wednesday (June 20). The company is celebrating its 60thanniversary.

Minister Shaw again indicated Government’s intention to seek to use the $15 billion of unclaimed monies held by financial institutions to create a special fund for small businesses.

The fund will allow small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access low-interest financing.

“Significant sums of money are tied up in our banking sector – dormant funds or unclaimed funds…. We are looking into aggressively converting some of those funds… to a special fund [so] that we can target low-interest money to the business sector, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises at four and five per cent interest rate,” he said.

According to the Banking Services Act, 2015, unclaimed balances refer to monies that remain dormant in the possession or control of a banking institution for a period of 15 years or more. After this period, the money will become part of the Government’s revenue.

For his part, General Manager, Lithographic Printers, Simon Duquesnay, noted that access to lower-cost financing “will be the growth spur that we need to reinvest in our business and really be competitive”.

Mr. Duquesnay noted that over the 60 years his company has been in business, it has sought to expand and evolve.

“Initially, we just printed on paper, but as the years have gone on, we have now diversified to do T-shirt printing; signage; large format printing; and our newest venture, which is our labels on a roll division,” he informed.

He said the company has just made a substantial investment in this division and will be employing five to 10 new staff members.

President of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (JMEA), Metry Seaga, praised the family-owned business on its continued success during its 60 years in operation.


Source: JIS News

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