$80 Million Pool of Funds for ICT Sector
Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. Omar Davies has highlighted two recent initiatives being spearheaded by the Export Import Bank (Ex-Im) for the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector.
The undertaking will see Ex-Im providing an $80 million pool of funds to the sector for software development, receivables financing, working capital and the purchasing of capital equipment. The interest rate on these loans will be 12 per cent per annum.
The programme is comprised of two components. There is a short-term working capital facility named YES - Young Entrepreneurial Scheme, focusing on young and upcoming entrepreneurs in the sector who are either domiciled at the Technology Innovation Centre at the University of Technology or engaged in similar type businesses elsewhere in Jamaica.
Under this, each borrower is initially eligible for a loan limit of $500,000 but repeat borrowers may access additional financing but not exceeding an overall limit of $1 million.
Whereas with the second component Ex-Im Bank has made a medium-term facility of $60 million available, to established ICT companies registered and operating in Jamaica. Loan limit is $15 million repayable over five years.
A second important programme, which will be facilitated through Ex-Im relates to the on-lending of approximately US$ 8.4 million to exporters. Ex-Im and the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA) will jointly execute the programme.
The loans will be made to companies approved by the JEA, assessed as being capable of reaching agreed targets for exports, job creation and investment. Loans will only be provided to companies that are in good standing in terms of tax payments.
The loan ceiling will be a maximum of US$300,000 per borrower and will be for a period of four years inclusive of a one-year moratorium. The interest rate will be seven per cent.
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