Mr. Hylton said the legislation is important in enabling the Micro Small and Medium-size Enterprises (MSMEs) to provide products and services to international and local large-scale entities operating out of the economic zones.
“This, of course, will allow MSMEs to foster broad-based and inclusive growth, which is an important goal of our growth agenda,” he said.
According to Minister Hylton, the viability of the economic strategy of leveraging the logistics hub will largely depend on the degree to which the MSME sector is prepared to develop the capacity to participate in the activities within the SEZs and beyond.
“Today’s global economy is characterised by integrated enterprises dispersed across geographic borders. This simply means that products are assembled from inputs in different countries to allow for reduced production and transportation costs, while responding to the demands and growing standards of global consumers,” he noted.
He added that this new paradigm provides numerous opportunities for MSMEs to participate in global value and supply chains, as the country moves forward in building the logistics-centred economy.
“In this new arrangement of heightened global competition ushered in by globalisation, it is critical that MSMEs have the capacity to achieve the requisite standards in the marketplace. JBDC has a critical role to play as the premier business development and capacity-building agency for the MSME sector,” Mr. Hylton said.
The Industry Minister noted that the Government has sought to implement critical policies and programmes to strengthen the MSME sector, and better position entities to take advantage of business linkage opportunities.
Among the policies, he said, is the MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy, which acts as a road map for the implementation of programmes and projects to remove the impediments that businesses face, in achieving growth and development.
He also mentioned enactment of the insolvency legislation, which provides a modern framework for resolving matters of individual business insolvency; and the Security Interest in Personal Property Act and Collateral Registry, which make it possible for entrepreneurs to use moveable assets, such as livestock and intellectual property, to secure business loans.
In addition, Mr. Hylton informed that amendments being undertaken to the Trade Marks Act will allow for the registration of trademarks in multiple countries through one centralised application procedure.
“This is essential to Jamaica’s accession to the Madrid Protocol, and protection of innovative products such as strains of coffee and nutraceuticals, which are being developed by our MSMEs,” he said.