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Audley Shaw calls for closer working relationship between DBJ and EXIM Bank

Observer Business Reporter

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw is urging a closer working relationship between Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and the National Export-Import Bank of Jamaica (Exim Bank) to facilitate the development of the country's economy.

The minister was speaking at the EXIM Bank's annual strategic planning retreat, held at the EXIM Business Centre on Monday, September 9.

“In a partnership with the DBJ and EXIM Bank, what's the end game? The end game is more growth, more jobs, and targeting the export market in a very deliberate way,” Shaw said.

“What we have to do now is change gears. The good news is there is no shortage of markets; we're short of production, [but] that is about to change in this country”.

Shaw added that while larger businesses are able to access funding from the DBJ, he called for the greater distribution of resources to be allocated to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Shaw offered that potential joint initiatives between DBJ and EXIM Bank will be discussed with Minister of Finance Nigel Clarke.

The minister reiterated that the Government is working assiduously to “have access to dormant funds being held by deposit-taking institutions for on-lending to the SME sector”.

The minister added that the first report of a study being conducted on dormant funds is completed and will be shared with the minister of finance and the cabinet shortly.

“Dormant funds in our commercial banking system is something that has to be looked at. the global standard for dormant funds returning to central government is seven years, in the US, it's five years, You know what it is in Jamaica? 15 years,” Shaw argued.

“If we bring the dormant funds period at least down to the world standard of seven years, billions of dollars will be made available which in my view should be put into a special account and made available to our small and medium-sized enterprises; and EXIM Bank will be one of those appropriate channels,” he said.