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FIRST UNION FEATURE |

11

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2017

T

HE

GOVERNMENT

of Jamaica,

through the

Ministry of

Industry,

Commerce,

Agriculture and

Fisheries, has

identified the

development of the

micro, small and medium-sized

enterprise (MSME) sector as critical

for sustainable economic growth

and for nation building.

Data from the Tax Administration

of Jamaica indicate that MSMEs

account for an estimated 97.6 per

cent of all registered, classified

taxpaying enterprises in Jamaica.

This indicates that, with a popu-

lation of 2.7 million people, MSMEs

play a significant role in

Jamaica’s economic and

business activities.

It is with that inmind that I

believe that organisations

such as First Union

Financial Group Limited are

providing great economic

value to the GDP of this

country, and my ministry is

committed to making every effort

to support this sector to enable

greater innovation, competitiveness,

wealth creation, and social stability.

I note the impressive growth of

First Union over the past 18 years,

which had its humble beginnings

in a car and now operates from a

newly constructed multimillion-

dollar facility, boasting some 200

employees with the capacity to

employ an additional 40 persons.

Indeed, this is testament to the

fact that the entrepreneurial

spirit in Jamaica is alive and well.

Our wish is that as successful

entrepreneurs, First Union, in

turn, will empower other small

business enterprises by

providing them with opportuni-

ties for growth as they access

the requisite financial services.

On behalf of the Ministry of

Industry, Commerce, Agriculture

and Fisheries, let me therefore

commend First Union for its

trailblazing efforts to diversify

into other industries with their

subsidiary entities, namely

courier services, office

systems/furniture, food

manufacturing, real estate

development and pest control

services, among others.

I wish continued success for the

First Union Financial Group as it

expands locally and internationally.

KARL SAMUDA

Minister of Industry,

Commerce, Agriculture

and Fisheries

islandwide, supported by

the company’s 200-

member staff.

This is indicative of a

strategic and holistic focus

on both the growth of the

company, as well as its

contribution to the local

economy through job

creation.

Indeed, First Union’s

plans to open a new

10,000-square-foot head-

quarters in Kingston this

year and the additional 40

jobs that this will create is

quite commendable.

First Union’s foray into

the fields of online shop-

ping and courier services,

office systems/furniture,

food manufacturing, real

estate development and

pest control services,

among others, through

their subsidiaries, also

indicates the company’s

vision for further growth.

Indeed, the Government

of Jamaica is keen on

supporting the microfi-

nance sector through the

provisions of the

Microcredit Bill, which will

provide the framework for

regulation and thereby

promote the growth of

the microfinance arm of

the First Union Financial

Group Limited.

I take this opportunity

to wish First Union

Financial Group Limited

and its staff continued

success as the company

seeks to achieve its

mission of supporting the

growth of small

businesses while securing

and improving on its own

growth through the

diversification into other

industries.

AUDLEY SHAW

Minister of Finance

and the Public Service

Commendations on

your trailblazing efforts

NICHE

CONTINUED FROM 10

MESSAGES