Planning Minister steers discussions on micro, small and medium enterprise development in the Caribbean

Caption: Minister of Planning and Development, the Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis. (Photo Courtesy the Trinidad Express)

May 16, 2016: Working to ensure the survival of micro, small and medium enterprises in the Caribbean is paramount to the survival of the manufacturing sector in Trinidad and Tobago.  Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis will lead a panel discussion on “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development: Towards a New Frontier” which will be held during the Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  Some of the presenters on this panel include Dr Justin Ram, Director of Economics, Caribbean Development Bank; Dr Arnold McIntyre, Deputy Division Chief, Caribbean Division I, Western Hemisphere Department, International Monetary Fund; Mr. Daniel Arthurton; Adviser, Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission (ECSRC), Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development in the Caribbean: Towards a New Frontier is focused on four areas: (a) strengths; weaknesses; opportunities; and risks facing MSMEs, and the strategic implications over the next decade; (b) the “doing business” constraints, including access to finance; (c) robustness of current policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks for MSME development and recommendations for improvement; and (d) opportunities for innovation; enhanced competitiveness; and export expansion. This is intended to provide practical policy and other recommendations for MSME expansion and development in the region.


The purpose of a thematic study on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Caribbean is two-fold:

1.         To assess the status of the MSME sector based on a review of the sector in eight Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) borrowing member countries (BMCs); and

2.         To highlight critical MSME development challenges and propose a structured approach to addressing those challenges. 

The Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) sector in the Caribbean is a substantial contributor to economic and social development.  It is estimated that the sector constitutes between 70 and 85% of business enterprises and contributes between 60 and 70% of the Gross Domestic Product.  The sector accounts for approximately 50% of employment and is a major contributor to poverty production.  Female entrepreneurs are estimated at between 30 and 50%.   The sector contributes to social stability and citizen security through the provision of opportunities to many who would otherwise be marginalised economically and socially.

Given the size and importance of the MSME sector, its major contributions to the Region’s economic and social development, the persistence of financial, skills and other constraints, and the inadequate attention paid to the sector it is important to focus discussion on sector needs so that these can be more effectively addressed by governments and other stakeholders.  The expected benefits are improved policies, a strengthened institutional environment in support of the sector, better growth performance, increased employment and reduced poverty.  This is important to Trinidad and Tobago since CARICOM is a major market for our goods and services and ensuring the strength of the region’s markets augurs well for continued trade and even for possible expansion into the global market.



For further information please contact:

The Communications Department

Ministry of Planning and Development

868-627-9700 ext 1457

Caribbean Development Bank
Camille Robinson-Regis
Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Development Bank
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