Entities Partner to Grow Exports

Four private- and public-sector bodies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), agreeing to work together to grow national exports to US$2.5 billion by 2020.

Jamaica currently exports approximately US$1.6 billion in goods and services.

The bodies that will be collaborating are the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA), Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO).

The objective is to grow Jamaica’s exports through collaboration and efficient use of joint resources.

The partnership among the entities, dubbed United for Exports, is being endorsed by Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda.

“I have no difficulty supporting this initiative. I think it is a wonderful effort,” said Mr. Samuda at the signing ceremony at his offices in New Kingston on November 30.

The Minister noted that the move is critical, particularly as it seeks to eradicate redundancies and overlaps in the system in order to improve efficiencies.

“This is the kind of collaborative approach that we need to be taking, not just for exports but for the entire productive sector. Wherever there is duplication and bureaucracy, we must come together and streamline the processes so that the gains from our efforts can be maximised,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Samuda used the opportunity to inform that through collaboration between his Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the export of local patties to Belize has resumed.

“This is just the beginning of the efforts we are putting in to ensure that our products are marketed throughout the world,” he said.

In her address, President of the JEA, Michelle Chong, said the objective of United for Exports is to simplify the export processes.

Ms. Chong noted that the four entities have been working together over the past six months, regularly meeting and laying a solid foundation.

She said that, to date, the group has accomplished many of their initial objectives, which includes agreeing on national and sector targets for exports and developing a service map for each agency so exporters might know where to go and for what services.

In January next year, another segment of the partnership will get under way with meetings with new partners, such as the Trade Board Limited.

The group will also have discussions with individual sectors by size to craft strategies, look at export opportunities and develop market strategy by country.

JAMPRO’s President, Diane Edwards, said that United for Exports is a timely and a well-needed effort to drive the country’s exports.

Jamaica Information Service
Published Date: 
Friday, December 2, 2016