Jampro turns attention to services exports
Trade promotion agency, Jampro, has a keen eye on foreign exchange earnings through the export of services. It has always been a part of the agency's mandate, but the vice-president for export and market development, Robert Scott, acknowledged in an interview this week that Jampro has not always given the area real focus.
"Our job is for the export of goods and services. We recognised that we have been working on the goods element for some time," said Scott, but "with the increased focus on the creative industries, it became obvious that we needed to address this."
The agency will be reaching out with pitches to Jamaican entrepreneurs under a programme called Services Go Global. It is designed to tap into the foreign exchange earning potential of two areas: the management services and the internationalisation of education, Scott said.
He reported that Jampro is putting real muscle behind the effort and has put a dedicated team in place to drive the project, led by senior consulting officer Kelli-Dawn Hamilton.
"Based on the commitment of the organisation we also put in human resources, so that, for the first time, we have somebody who is 100 per cent dedicated to the export of services," Scott said.
Hamilton and Scott are working alongside management consultant Dr Nsombi Jaja to deliver the course material for Services Go Global. All three are certified services exports trainers through the Caribbean Coalition of Service Industries.
For now, Jampro is focused on training others to tap into markets.
"The programme's deliverable is an export plan," said Scott.
"At this stage, we are not set up to take everybody into market and help every individual company. What this does is to teach people how to fish," he said.
Jampro turned out its first cohort under the programme during August.