JAMPRO And EU Deepens Ties To Improve Competitiveness Of Local Companies

Monday, January 30: The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) has created a new division “Corporate Finance Broker” Unit (CFB Unit/JAMPRO). The unit will offer financial assistance to all Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) participating in the EU/GoJ Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP). The CFB Unit/JAMPRO will assist the companies which have met the eligibility criteria for funding.

It is expected that in the first instance the CFB Unit/JAMPRO will attract its clients from the PSOs who have received assistance under EU/PSDP for consortia development. The PSOs will refer the various SMEs to the CFB Unit/JAMPRO.

The CFB Unit/JAMPRO hopes to be able to foster deeper relationships as it seeks to establish relationships with the Banking Sector and other lending institutions who it expects will refer SME loan applicants and other persons.
It is proposed that a wide range of technical and financial services will be offered by CFB Unit/JAMPRO. In the technical area, the services are financial planning, financial management, and help to identify additional sources of technical and/or financial assistance; while it will also facilitate interfacing with banks and other lending institutions on behalf of CFB clients.

Executive Director, Services at JAMPRO, Mrs. Lisa Bell, under whose watch the new unit falls says “the establishment of the supporting unit is geared at assisting companies in a proactive and meaningful way in financial matters critical to their continued growth and development. It is hoped that the assistance will see an increase in the number of companies able to successfully obtain credit financing.”
Mrs. Bell also noted that there should be an increase in the number of companies successfully negotiating additional levels of financial or technical assistance; while “improved financial performance of the companies receiving assistance under the cost-sharing programme should have a positive impact on the island’s GDP and reduction in the levels of unemployment.”

The PSDP is a four-year technical assistance programme jointly funded by the EU and GoJ and is geared at enhancing Jamaican private sector competitiveness, in response to the challenges resulting from increased globalization and liberalization of markets. The total budget for the project is €28.67 million, representing €20 million in grant funds from the EU, with the remainder representing the contribution of the GoJ, as well as of beneficiaries engaged in specific activities.