[Kingston, Jamaica] – Senator the Honourable Aubyn Hill has applauded JAMPRO, an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, for winning the award for ‘Best Use of a Partnership’ from the World Trade Promotion Organisations for its Export Max III programme, the third iteration of this initiative. The announcement was made at the WTPO Conference and Awards held in Accra, Ghana on May 17-18, 2022.
The programme, which is managed by JAMPRO, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), and the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA), was recognised for its success with using partnerships to help Jamaican micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) overcome export challenges and gaps and prepare them for advancement into international markets.
2022 World Trade Promotion Awards
The 2022 World Trade Promotion Awards was hosted by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA). They reward excellence from national trade promotion organizations (TPOs) in facilitating trade support for MSMEs. Senator Hill said the recent win indicates that Jamaica’s Export Max initiative is an impactful approach in the support of medium and small exporters and potential exporters.
He said, “We are particularly proud of the award for ‘Best Use of a Partnership’ because it recognizes one of the main principles of not just the Export Max programme, but the development strategy of the Jamaican government. For us to move forward, we must increase exports through close collaboration between public and private sector organizations. This award acknowledges the power of the cooperation between JAMPRO, the JMEA, and the JBDC as they grow the export capacity of the selected 50 SMEs via group financing, mentorship and training.” He further commended the participants in the programme for their participation, innovation and growth and the strides they had made in generating increased exports for Jamaica.
In detailing the rationale behind rewarding Export Max with this prize, the event’s organizers noted that, “…working with partners meant that JAMPRO could tackle inter-related issues for firms such as capacity building, access to finance, quality and sustainability standards and market growth.”
Programme has been successful
In a video address to the attendees of the WTPO Conference and Awards, JAMPRO’s President Diane Edwards said the Export Max initiative has seen much success; fifty per cent of the participating companies that entered the initiative as non-exporters are now exporting and there was a 28% sales growth among participants. The companies also gained access to 100 new buyers.
She shed additional light on the initiative’s achievements. Noting that her organization’s partnerships within Export Max extend even beyond the JMEA and the JBDC.
“We were also joined by private sector partners who provided key financial and technical support for the participating companies,” she disclosed. “Some of this support included productivity audits and workshops on marketing, business development, and eCommerce strategies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Edwards underscored the resilience of the initiative during the challenges of Covid, saying, “Export Max III has positively impacted the members of the cohort leading to many successes, including a significant growth in their export sales despite Covid-19 and expansion into 15 new markets. There has been an increase in the number of firms with improved business models, allowing them to become sustainable exporters. Finally, we are especially proud of the outstanding performances from our women-led enterprises. Four of which are in the top 7 companies of the programme.”
The Export Max partners are now looking to launch the next iteration of the initiative. They will target 60 companies to receive export development support. It is expected that intake for the new cohort will start in September this year.
The Jamaica Promotions Corporation’s (JAMPRO’s) mission is to drive economic development through growth in investment and export. JAMPRO is an Agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment, and Commerce.