Sat | Mar 17, 2018

Private sector role in services sector expanded

Published:Thursday | January 26, 2017 | 3:31 PM
JAMPRO President Diane Edwards
Jamaica Chamber of Commerce President Larry Watson.

JAMPRO and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) have signed a memorandum of understanding signalling the start of a new phase of the Jamaica Coalition of Service Industries (JCSI).

It will include greater private sector involvement in the development of the services economy with special emphasis on the export of services, the JCC said in a release.

The JCSI operates as the umbrella organisation for the services industry with a mandate to strengthen and expand the local services sector for national development and export.

According to information posted on the JCSI website, the services sector continues to outweigh goods in the contribution to Jamaica’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with 2010 statistics indicating that services account for 74 per cent of GDP compared to 26 per cent for goods.

The release said the memorandum was signed on Monday, January 23 by JCC President Larry Watson and JAMPRO President Diane Edwards.

Both signatories expressed a commitment that the organizations would work closely together to support the growth of the services sector.

Common sectors served by the JCSI and the JCC are tourism, logistics, the creative industries, higher education and information technology enabled services, among others.

To date, the work of the JCSI has largely focused on strategy development, resource mobilisation and institutional coordination, and its mandate continues to be the expansion of services exports, the release said.

It is envisaged that this new phase will see more focus being placed on the strengthening of key industry associations and the development of programmes that will increase the competitiveness of the private sector in key services sectors.

In 2015 the JCSI conducted an assessment of its progress with respect to the development of the service economy in Jamaica and made a decision to expand its areas of focus to include activities to support the development of service providers in the priority sectors.

That resulted in the JCC being identified as the private sector partner to the JCSI.

A number of activities are being rolled out to support the new partnership, including the development of a governance framework and standard operating procedures which will guide the new or expanded model of the JCSI in its daily operations.

A comprehensive sensitisation campaign will complement the agenda in order to increase visibility of the JCSI at the national level, the release said. 

The activities are intended to support the service economy as a significant contributor to GDP, and trade in services as one of the fastest-growing components of international trade. 

“This collaboration and partnership with the JCSI will allow the Coalition to take the lead on services sector development with full engagement of the private sector as a key stakeholder to this process,” said the statement.

Partnership with the JCC also provides access to a parish level, regional and international chamber network, and partnership in the Caribbean Network of Service Coalitions will create opportunities for regional collaboration with other coalitions of service industries, stakeholders, clients and partners.