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Words on behalf of the Jury - Recognition of SMEs - MIC

Distinguished Mr. Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mr. Jose del Castillo Saviñón Distinguished Officials, public and private, who make up the main table Distinguished personalities, from the public and private sphere, who are present,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Small and medium-sized businesses have been a vital force in the Dominican economy. It is therefore a fact of great importance that the current government administration has considered such companies as a central part of public policies, thus creating the minimum conditions for a renewed boost to productivity, efficiency and formality in this segment. And the establishment of this Recognition of Excellence is especially healthy, through which quality is encouraged in the management of SMEs, by adopting incorporating international standards for self-diagnosis and for the development of improvement plans in the field of innovation, entrepreneurship, environmental management and export.

In this context, as President of the Jury, I would like to briefly share three characteristics of the Recognition that give it a special value. In the first place, it is worth highlighting the rigor of the Methodology designed for the application of companies, which was inspired by the important Malcolm Baldrige Award. Secondly, it should be noted that the award incorporates a process of advice and guidance to SMEs throughout the application process, thanks to a project supported by the National Competitiveness Council. Specifically, this element allowed a group of INTEC professors, in coordination with the Vice Ministry for the Promotion of SMEs, could work together with companies to guarantee the quality of applications. And third, but not least, I want to attest to the neatness, objectivity and impartiality with which the discussions that led to the selection of the companies recognized today were conducted.

On the other hand, the occasion is also propitious to present some exhortations that I am sure are shared by all the members of the jury. To the companies that are recognized today, we urge them to continue their efforts in terms of quality, taking advantage of the feedback as a symbol and, at the same time, a stimulus to their improvement processes. Hopefully we can have them participate in the 2014 National Private Sector Quality Award, which would be a new level of challenge that many, if not all, could face.

To the companies that participated and were not selected for recognition, we urge them to reinforce their improvement efforts, especially in those areas that showed the greatest signs of weakness, and set the goal of participating again in the next round. We are sure that, with the experience gained in this edition, complemented with new efforts, all of them have an excellent opportunity to be recognized in the near future.

And to the many SMEs that did not even apply, we encourage them to start preparing now, since the methodology used is available and is for public use, and this would provide them not only the opportunity to participate in this recognition, but also to achieve higher levels of quality, productivity and competitiveness.

To conclude, I place my congratulations on the record to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, in the person of its Minister and the Vice Minister for the Promotion of SMEs. We know that quality is not an isolated step, but a long walk that does not stop. On this occasion, however, we are taking a very significant step, and we are enthusiastically grateful that the Ministry has allowed us to be part of this momentous experience.