EXIM Bank loans for productive sector to increase to $9.3 billion

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

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The National Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of Jamaica has projected that its loans to the productive sector will increase to $9.3 billion for the upcoming fiscal year.

This is according to the 2019/20 Public Bodies' Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, which was tabled in the House of Representatives by Finance and the Public Service Minister Dr Nigel Clarke.

The loan provision will be supported by increased marketing activities, brand building and market analysis for beneficiaries.

According to the document, significant focus will be placed on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) involved in non-traditional exports such as tourism and its linkages, manufacturing, agro-processing, mining, the service industry, information and communication technology (ICT), and the creative industries.

The EXIM Bank in the document further stated that the key strategic objectives for the bank over the forthcoming fiscal year will include facilitating export growth for new and existing customers; enhancing its marketing and brand-building programme to grow and diversify the loan portfolio; designing effective financing solutions; improving service delivery and efficient processes through expanded use of technology; and strengthening the capacity and motivation of staff through training, recognition, rewards and talent management.

The EXIM Bank is forecasting fiscal surplus of $67.14 billion from its engagements, which is some $59.8 billion less than the $126.94 billion for 2018/19.

Additionally, the bank projects an increase in the complement of staff during 2019/20, by four, to 62.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw, who has portfolio responsibility for the EXIM Bank, indicated that the institution's 2019/20 loan utilisation projection is $1.8 billion more than the $7.5 billion on-lent to the productive sector during the 2017/18 fiscal year, 98 per cent of which, he said, was for MSME financing.

He further pointed out that loans disbursed for 2018/19 totalled $6.8 billion, up to the end of December 2018.

Shaw, who was speaking recently at the Planning Institute of Jamaica's inaugural Economic Growth Forum at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St Andrew, said MSMEs benefited from 72 per cent of the loans disbursed up to the end of December.

“The ministry (is) working with the EXIM Bank to continue to facilitate financing for small and medium-sized businesses,” he added.

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