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MSME Alliance supports review of policy

Published:Tuesday | June 14, 2016 | 6:00 AMJovan Johnson

The Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (MSME) Alliance says it views as "positive" the announcement by Industry and Commerce Minister Karl Samuda of a "limited review" of the 2013 MSME & Entrepreneurship Policy.

Samuda announced the decision while making his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives last week.

He said the three-month review would attempt to "reconcile the varying definitions of MSMEs to ensure a standard definition".

Donovan Wignal, president of the MSME Alliance, said the decision was important for ensuring improvements in the policy process.

"The review, in this sense, doesn't mean he has particular issues with the policies. I am thinking that he wants to see how he can work with the policy [and] if there are things in it that need to be enhanced," he told The Gleaner.

"I see the minister reviewing the policy as a positive step. It's a new document and I see it as a work in progress."

Samuda explained that the review would also "improve the reporting of financial statistics for the MSME sector and will lay the foundation for the development of more tailored financial products."

"This sector is too important for us not to be able to properly characterise it, and we can never hope to plan for the sector in the absence of a clear definition ... ," he said.

The Government's MSME policy was launched in October 2013.

Among other things, it aims to increase finance to the sector, enhance business development support, while tackling cross-cutting issues such as women and youth in business, and persons with disabilities.

jovan.johnson@gleanerjm.com