By Bryan Miller, JIS Regional Office Reporter MONTEGO BAY: Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, has underscored the pivotal role of Jamaica’s credit union movement in advancing the country’s economic development. Speaking at the St. Elizabeth Cooperative Credit Union Limited’s 37th annual general meeting in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth, on Saturday (April 27), Mr. Clarke noted that credit unions have been particularly instrumental in advancing small business development through the provision of tangible financial support to stakeholders, whom he said are integral to safeguarding Jamaica’s economic future. “It (credit union movement) is the driver of small businesses; and…the greatest employer of labour (are) those people who (operate) small businesses. You (small business operators) are the real engine of growth; and therefore the credit union, which really deals in a significant way with small businesses, is a critical organization in moving the economy forward,” he contended. Lamenting that the relevance of the credit union is, to some extent, unrecognized, Mr. Clarke gave an undertaking to lobby increased support for the organization by his colleague Members of Parliament, among others. Their inputs, he contended, should serve to better position the movement as a key stakeholder in national development, thereby benefitting Jamaica in the long run.