Kingston, Jamaica – Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), in partnership with Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA), and Trade Board Limited, with the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat, and consultants Tourism Intelligence International, hosted the National Export Strategy (NES) Validation Workshop on January 21st and 22nd at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston. Over 100 persons participated in brainstorming sessions, workshops and the development of key initiatives that will form the core of the second phase of the NES.
JAMPRO and its partners are currently developing Phase II of the NES to expand Jamaica’s export opportunities; the programme will prioritize global competitiveness tools to increase export of locally made good and services in a bid to stem Jamaica’s trade imbalance. The validation exercise seeks to stimulate communication among exporters, manufacturers and the Government by encouraging recommendations for Jamaica’s export strategies.
Over the course of the workshop, participants had vibrant discussions in group sessions with Commonwealth Secretariat and JAMPRO representatives the state of their sectors and the support needed to increase export of goods. The first day was focused on the five priority sectors; namely, Mining, Agro-Processing, Film & Animation, IT Enabled Services and Manufacturing, while day two saw discussion on cross-cutting areas such as Export Financing, Logistics, Standards and Capacity-Building.
As the NES is focused on penetrating international markets, the Commonwealth Secretariat contracted Tourism Intelligence International’s Dr. Auliana Poon to host presentations and interactive sessions with attendees on both days. With her experience providing innovative solutions for countries globally, Dr.Poon stressed that Jamaican companies needed to be innovative and change their approach when creating products and services for export as the global consumer market has rapidly transformed “(We) have to understand the needs of the customer, (we) must be market driven and customer focused; it’s not what we have to sell, it is what they want to buy. Jamaican authenticity is what the market wants, you have to go niche,” she said.
The Honourable G. Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment & Commerce shared her sentiment on Jamaican companies building their export capacity by observing global trends. During his keynote address at the opening ceremony on January 21, Minister Hylton said that the evaluation session was critical for introducing stakeholders to initiatives and skills that would improve the management of their businesses and their exports, “We can’t grow the economy by focusing only on Jamaica, we have to integrate the economy into the global space.” he said.
JAMPRO, a major partner in the development and execution of the NES initiative, has implemented several programmes, such as Roadshow USA and ExportMax to encourage export of local goods to international markets. Due to the agency’s dedication to increasing exports, it believes its participation in the development of the National Export Strategy is critical to creating the framework for local exporters to succeed in the globally competitive marketplace. At the opening ceremony, JAMPRO President Diane Edwards said, “JAMPRO continues to believe that a National Export Strategy plays a key role to developing a market driven and globally competitive export sector. This validation workshop is a critical step to developing a strategy that reflects the input of the private sector stakeholders and that works to benefit the exporters.”
The Government and its partners will develop Phase II of the National Export Strategy based on the results of the validation workshop, the strategies will be streamlined to efficiently support the priority sectors and cross cutting areas, and increase export capacity over the next five years.