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House approves special procurement incentives for MSMEs

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Jamaica's micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) arebeing given new incentives to compete for Government business and promote local production.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the Public Procurement (Domestic Margin of Preference) Order and the Public Procurement (Set Asides) Order resolutions, giving local MSMEs a 20 per cent domestic preference edge in terms of their bids for contracts, and set asides for those companies using more than 35 per cent Jamaican content.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, explained the new incentives as he piloted the two resolutions safely through the House of Representatives.

Clarke explained that the incentives would encourage national growth and development, by enabling greater participation of local MSMEs in public procurement, or the provision of goods and service paid for by the government, through special and differential measures.

“In any society, the Government is one of the largest purchasers of goods and services and, as a result of that, the policy of the government towards procurement can impact the cost of those services, and the economic vibrancy of the society,” Clarke said.

He said that, increasingly, governments across the world are using public procurement measures for economic advantage and gaining the lowest possible costs, as well as to pursue cost reduction with a layer of objectives in mind.

He said that the purpose of the amendments to the 2015 Procurement Act's by introducing special differential treatment, is to strike a balance between ensuring that there is price competition as well as ensure that the MSMEs develop as local industries using primarily local products.

He said that almost all public entities are already using the Electronic Procurement System, which aims at significantly improving efficiency and transparency in the acquisition of goods, services and works.

Balford Henry


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