Government removes 26 bureaucratic steps for export last week
The special J$600 million low cost credit facility from the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) involved in export is now accessible.
The interest rate is a low 4.75 per cent, which is the lowest rate on offer to the MSMEs any government or private sector funding institution is currently offers. State Minister for Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries, Floyd Green, who made the announcement, described the move as a step in the right direction.
Minister Green argued that the low 4.75 per cent interest rate should send a signal to private lending institutions in Jamaica that loans to MSMEs should be lowered to this level. He used these two credit facilities to highlight the fact that the government is seriously addressing the need to give MSMEs more access to credit at reasonable interest rates.
” Quite frankly we have over-bureaucratised our processes around trade for far too long…”– State Minister for Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries, Floyd Green
Over bureaucratic export process
Turning to the issue of export, Minister Green admitted Jamaica has over-bureaucratised its export process, disclosing that only last week the government removed 26 bureaucratic steps to export, which were adding no value.
“Quite frankly we have over-bureaucratised our processes around trade for far too long…last week I had a meeting with Ministry of Health, National Environment and Planning Agency, Trade Board team and one of the things I highlighted is that we have some steps in our processes that we think is adding value, that is absolutely not adding value,” Green reasoned.
He gave an example where there are some secondary steps in the export process, which is dependent on the first step, such as a letter and or a form being given by an initial agency, arguing that in such a scenario there is no need for the secondary step.
According to Green, “people go to the initial agency, they get the letter and the form and then they go to the secondary agency. They in turn ask them for the letter or the form and when they show them the letter and the form that gives rise to the secondary process; it makes no sense.”
The Junior Minister remarked that the government is moving to remove those unnecessary secondary bureaucratic steps, which add no value noting that so far 26 such steps have been identified to be removed.
“We are removing the time it takes to get our exports out of the country,” Green told the large gathering, which included the representatives of 48 MSMEs, inclusive of businesses from the creative and cannabis industries, drafted in Jampro’s Export Max 111 programme.
The Export Max programme, which was launched in 2011 as a pilot to assist MSMEs with growing their export sales, achieved 31 per cent growth in foreign sales for the 15 participants in the first staging. The second staging achieved 213 per cent growth from the 20-odd companies that participated.
Jampro is projecting a three-fold growth for the 48 participants in Export Max 111, which will run for the next three years. The companies will receive support for capacity building, export market development and penetration, promotional activities, monitoring, and evaluation.
Jampro has received $64 million in funding for its third staging of the Export Max programme.