Jamaica Gleaner / An essential feature of Factories Corporation of Jamaica’s (FCJ) new directive is to ensure that 40 per cent of newly constructed space must be made available to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).

Dr Horace Chang, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, in an address to the gathering at FCJ’s 30th Anniversary Awards Banquet last Saturday, said that much-needed interventions are critical if there is to be real growth in the SME sector.

“The Government is committed to stimulating growth in that sector and creating a framework in which they can grow and lay the foundation for sustainability,” he said.

Chang said that the business process outsourcing (BPO) and technology sectors are areas that must not be ignored as there is huge potential for economic gains.

“Seven hundred and fifty thousand square feet of space will be for the BPO, which will provide employment for approximately 20,000 persons. This financial year, we would have seen some 11,000 jobs created in the sector, and we expect that the financial year coming, we expect to see even more rapid growth. It is a sector that we know can provide jobs quickly. It is not the end. Finally, growth must reach the wider cross section of society if we are to keep the population engaged,” he said.

He said, too, that energy, infrastructure, and transportation would be the focus of the State in ensuring that any initiative that is embarked on is in line with the Government’s growth target.

“The recent upgrade along Marcus Garvey Drive has improved access and transportation to downtown Kingston and other areas. With work to begin on the St Thomas leg of the south coast highway, this will create optimal solutions for growth and jobs. The Government, of course, will focus on infrastructure, transportation roadways, courts, water supplies. The focus will be on getting the productive sector mobilised to drive the economy, and the government has no doubt that there will be improvement on that side of the economy.”

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