The FTC Recognizes World MSME Day

By Shavanne Smith, Research Officer

June 27 is observed as World MSME Day, recognizing the critical role played by Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in promoting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The enterprises which operate in this sector are diverse, spanning various sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, retail, and services, and providing goods and services that cater to local and international markets.

The MSME sector is a major source of employment, providing jobs for a significant portion of the workforce. It offers opportunities for self-employment and is instrumental in reducing unemployment rates, particularly in rural and underserved areas. The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the Business Ministry, determined that the sector absorbs 80 per cent of Jamaica’s labour force and contributes 44 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The MSME sector is an incubator of innovation, entrepreneurship and economic resilience. MSMEs are quick to adopt new technologies and business practices, driving innovation across various sectors. This adaptability enables them to respond effectively to changing market conditions and consumer demands. Similarly, the diversity and distribution of MSMEs contribute to the resilience of the Jamaican economy. By operating in different sectors and regions, the sector helps to stabilize the economy and aids with mitigating the impact of adverse economic shocks. The sector stimulates local economies, support local suppliers, and contribute to the social and economic well-being of communities. Additionally, it contributes significantly to wealth creation, poverty alleviation, and social stability.

Competition nurtures the MSME sector. A competitive market environment is essential for the growth and sustainability of the MSME sector as it rewards efficiency, innovation, and promotes consumer choice. The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) is committed to fostering such an environment.

The FTC plays a multifaceted role in supporting competitive markets through its core activities of surveillance, enforcement, education and advocacy. The FTC monitors market activities to detect and discourage anti-competitive practices. This includes enforcement actions and market studies to assess the level of competition in various sectors. By maintaining a vigilant watch over markets, the FTC ensures that MSMEs can operate in an environment which facilitates their development. Likewise, The FTC enforces competition law to deter anti-competitive behaviours. Through legal actions, the FTC ensures that businesses adhere to competition rules, protecting MSMEs and other business from unfair practices that could hinder their growth and sustainability. Additionally, the FTC provides education and outreach programmes to inform MSMEs about their rights and responsibilities under competition law. These programmes include workshops, seminars, and publications aimed at raising awareness about the benefits of competition and how MSMEs can leverage those benefits to their advantage. Moreover, the FTC advocates for policies and regulatory reforms that support the growth and development of the MSME sector. This function includes collaborating with government agencies, industry associations, and other stakeholders to create a conducive and competitive business environment.

On this World MSME Day, it is important to recognize the invaluable contributions of MSMEs to Jamaica’s economic development and the creation of competitive markets. These enterprises are essential to our economy, driving innovation, job creation, and community development. The FTC is dedicated to supporting MSMEs through its comprehensive approach of surveillance, enforcement, education and advocacy. By fostering a competitive market environment, the FTC ensures that MSMEs can thrive and contribute to a prosperous and resilient economy.