The EXIM Bank in its 28 year history has stayed true to its mandate of stimulating, enabling and facilitating entrepreneurial activities across all major sectors of the economy, both in the traditional and non-traditional sectors. Delivering value and surpassing expectations by facilitating and promoting increased productivity, local and international competitiveness, remain the Bank's goal and cmmittment to its client and stakeholders.
With the introduction of a more highly targeted and refocused SME Strategy, the Bank has been intensifying support to this sector through customized loan financing and a suite of value-added products and services aimed at leveling the playing field to make working capital more accessible, serviceable and affordable to more of Jamaica's SMEs. Through this intense drive to boost the impact of SMEs and their contribution to Jamaica's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), aided by an expanded marketing promotional thrust, the Bank is looking to increase the percentage of toal loans to the SME sector this financial year by more than the almost 20% increase it recorded last year.
Another important element of the SME Strategy now being pursued is a deliberate effort to bring greater equilibrium and balance between banking and entrepreneurship. According to EXIM Bank's Managing Director, Mrs. Lisa Bell, "We believe that this is vital in the process of accelerating Jamaica's eceonomic recovery and development. This strategy must be supported by the adopting of a more flexible appraoch which utilizes a more diversified loan portfolio, a restructuring of our collateral regime, allowing for the use of a mix of traditional and non-traditional collateral; the lobbying for funding from partner agencies to assist in risk-sharing, and a move towards faster processing of loans and other business transactions for our SMEs."
Recognizing the increasing need to envelope and embrace fledgling entrepreneurs who are on the cusp of growth, the Bank continues to work steadfastly to create a space for this group to access capital to take their businesses to the next level.