Government Identifies Priority Sectors for Export Growth

Government will be placing focus on a few priority sectors under phase two of the National Export Strategy (NES) as it looks to improve the country’s exports.

Emphasis will be placed on areas such as agro processing/agribusiness, mining, film and animation, information technology-enabled services, and manufacturing.

This was announced by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, as he addressed a press conference to announce the results of the FINPYME ExportPlus Programme for small exporters held on Wednesday, July 9, at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.

He said the aim is to employ a more targeted approach to export growth. In addition to prioritising fewer sectors, there will also be a focus on cross-cutting strategies, while demanding more accountability for the initiatives.

The cross-cutting strategies include export financing, logistics, market access and trade information, capacity building, and standards and quality management.

“We intend to build on the achievements of phase one of the NES, where 63 per cent of a total of 325 initiatives were successfully implemented,” the Minister stated.

He noted that phase one of the NES had measurable impacts on the fashion industry, where 91 per cent of the planned initiatives were successfully implemented.

Jamaica’s NES is a unified strategic initiative that seeks to maximise the export sector’s direct contribution to economic and social development. Phase one was implemented between 2008 and 2013. The lead agencies are Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA) and the Trade Board.

The vision of the NES is to make Jamaica the place of choice for creative, innovative goods and services of exceptional quality.

As it relates to ExportPlus, the Industry Minister said that this represents the type of export development programme that the government of Jamaica is pleased to undertake, in keeping with the goals of the NSE.

“Programmes such as the FYNPME ExportPlus support the local community to take advantage of the existing and emerging opportunities from the Jamaica logistic hub initiative,” Mr. Hylton said.

He noted that the programme has been helping in leveraging resources and expertise in a targeted and practical way that allows export firms to convert their knowledge into real advantages in the global market place.

For her part, President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards, noted that the initiative has provided a unique collaboration of targeted resources and diverse expertise with the intention of nurturing the export capacity of Jamaica’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

“Through group technical assistance workshops at no cost to SMEs, and individual technical assistance consultancies for select companies based on pre-determined criteria, over 300 participating SMEs have benefitted considerably from the input of the various experts and consultants involved,” Ms. Edwards said.

In October 2012, JAMPRO engaged with the Inter-American Investment Corporation and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to implement FINPYME ExportPlus, which seek to make SMEs better able to access export markets.

The programme was executed through US$150,000 in financing from the IDB, with experts and consultants providing technical assistance.

Published Date: 
Wednesday, July 16, 2014