• Small Manufacturers to Benefit
(Kingston, Jamaica – July 5, 2016) – The EXIM Bank and the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association
(JMA) today announced the launch of a special loan facility developed to assist small manufacturers who continue to have challenges accessing financing through traditional sources. Through this joint agreement between the EXIM Bank and the JMA, a special pool of funds will be made available to some of the country’s SME manufacturers who need flexible and targeted assistance to put them on a path of sustainable growth and viability.
The new loan product will be known as the JMA/EXIM Loan Facility and under the terms of the agreement, small manufacturers operating in Jamaica who are registered members of the JMA can access a maximum amount of J$1.5-million on short or medium term arrangements. Short term loans can be used for working capital to fund the purchase of raw materials and other productive inputs involved in the manufacturing process and is payable over 180 days. Medium term loans can be used to fund the purchase of light equipment, spare parts and accessories, and is payable over a period of 36 months. Interested applicants must apply directly through the JMA to access this facility which is being offered under favourable concessional terms.
EXIM Bank’s Managing Director, Mrs. Lisa Bell, commented that: “This joint initiative between the EXIM Bank and the JMA is a further demonstration of EXIM Bank’s commitment to working with the private sector in a collaborative framework to address some of the essential needs of the country’s SME manufacturers so that they too can be given the opportunity needed to truly realise their productive promise.”
In noting the importance of the loan facility and the EXIM Bank’s support of the JMA’s efforts to build capacity in the productive sector, President of the JMA, Mr. Metry Seaga, said: “Access to financing at competitive rates is critical to the success of the local manufacturing sector, particularly because of the challenging prevailing economic conditions. By mobilizing finance for the productive sector and by facilitating capital inflows, our members, particularly our smaller members, can now have greater access to much needed working capital requirements”. Mr. Seaga further added that: “MSME enterprises account for approximately 37% of the labour force and contribute over J$43.3 billion in GCT Revenue. This will certainly go a far way in continuing the growth momentum currently being experienced in the sector”.
Mrs. Bell reiterated that the EXIM Bank has had a long relationship with the JMA spanning decades and the JMA continues to be an important partner as both organisations are driven by the need to develop Jamaica’s SME sector. The signing of the agreement therefore represents a culmination of this mutual effort and cooperation between the two entities to increase private initiative that will contribute to economic growth and job creation for Jamaica. She also added that as the Bank celebrates its 30th anniversary, it will be rolling out additional initiatives throughout the year through its Business Advisory Services (BAS) Unit including workshops designed to help SMEs become more competitive in local and overseas markets.
The EXIM Bank commenced operations on May 1, 1986 in response to the Government’s stated objective of enhancing the growth and development of Jamaica through an export-led economy. The entity reports to the newly formed Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation in the office of the Prime Minister and is chaired by Mr. Gary ‘Butch’ Hendrickson.