Minister of Finance, Dr. The Honourable Nigel Clarke has announced that metrics that measure the participation level in the ownership of public equities, that is, stocks and shares on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, should be included as a measure of financial inclusion.
While speaking at the Second Annual Meeting of the National Financial Inclusion Council at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel on Friday, July 27, 2018, Minister Clarke noted that measuring the ownership of public equities will catalyse the Government's objective of 'Economic Opportunity For All.' As Jamaica continues to make macro-fiscal improvements, there will be the opportunity for more Jamaicans to have an ownership stake in the country's productive assets. By measuring how this ownership evolves we are signalling that it must be broad-based.
Dr. Clarke noted that the Government of Jamaica's continued commitment to financial inclusion and its important role in securing shared prosperity for all. "As we continue to make economic progress, we must ensure that those who have been traditionally excluded from our financial system –Jamaicans who are considered unbanked, the small business, or those with little or no assets – are included and feel the benefits of the fiscal and monetary reforms we have undertaken."
Minister Clarke, in referring to the importance of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as engines of wealth creation and employment, said, "as we seek to expand economic opportunity for all, we must foster a financial system that especially incentivizes more MSMEs to formalise their businesses; produces financial products and services that respond to the needs of MSMEs; and, stimulates greater growth and expansion of these enterprises."
Minister Clarke stated that the Government of Jamaica continues to move forward with the various institutional reforms needed to underpin financial development and inclusion. The recent announcement of the new focused mandate of private stability and low inflation for the Bank of Jamaica translates into further strengthening of Jamaica's monetary policy framework and ultimately, the real economy. "We must ensure that every Jamaican – man/woman, young/old, uptown/downtown, rural/urban – has the opportunity to pursue his/her own financial path through greater access to financial products and services."
For further information contact:
Communication & Public Relations Branch
Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle
Tel: (876) 932-4656/4660/4655
Contact: Elaine Oxamendi Vicet/Kadisha Sharp