Govt has offered to partner with Dominican Manufacturers and Ago-processors, in an effort to sustain and expand these industries. That offer was made at a meeting with Prime Minister Skerrit, and Planning, Economic Development and Investment Minister, Dr John Colin McIntyre, on Thursday 15th December 2016, at the State House conference room.
The initial objective was to determine what additional concessions manufacturers required, in order to realize positive returns from their investments. The meeting recognized that manufacturers were at different stages of development, in different subsectors, and each subgroup had its own peculiar challenges. The other major issue seemed to be that of accessing finance, as well as the cost of financing.
Government therefore offered financial assistance to the manufacturers, in the same way that it did to the agriculture and tourism sectors, through funds made available to the AID Bank, for onlending to these sectors, at 3% interest, with a one-year grace period on the repayment of principal and interest on the loan.
Prime Minister Skerrit urged the manufactures to organize themselves into one association, so as to better enable government to address their concerns, as it is difficult to meet with each manufacture on a one on one basis.
Mr Skerrit did not disclose the amount of financing that will be made available to the manufacturing sector, but he informed them that funds will not be provided for refinancing existing loans.
Prime Minister Skerrit promised Government will put a team together to continue dialoguing with the manufacturers, saying “the sooner we can conclude on some of the important points, the sooner we will be able to make the funds available”.
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