Grading Jamaica’s Service Sector
The service sector is the world's largest employer, and produces 70 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP). Trade in services has also been touted as an area in which Jamaica could realise competitive advantage. In this final instalment of the Grading Ja series, we asked a few persons to give their views on the sector.
Service Sector Scorecard
Hospitality and Entertainment
Media & Creative Industries
Dr. Christopher Tufton
Professor Densil Williams
Professor Ian Boxhill
SWOT analysis of Jamaica's
Dr Christopher Tufton - Co-executive Director, Caribbean Policy Research Institute
Strengths - Jamaicans tend to have a friendly disposition.
Weaknesses - Too laid back; no sense of urgency.
Opportunities - Great country-of-origin brand, which can be leveraged internationally.
Threats - Cost competitiveness and international certification required.
Aubyn Hill - CEO, Corporate Strategies Limited
Strengths - Generally very well capitalised and often very profitable. Trying to become more responsive to their clients' needs.
Weaknesses - Their rich diet of high interest rate government bonds for decades - especially the banks, has lulled them into service lethargy. They largely have not been adept at going out to work with businesses and private clients on innovative or entrepreneurial and helpful terms to grow local businesses.
Opportunities - With so much money flowing into the country from the Red Stripe share transaction and the government payment on the NDX-related bonds, operators in the financial services sector have a great opportunity to work with private entrepreneurs to fashion sustainable businesses, expansions, and deals. With the Government out of the borrowing market for a while, these firms will have to retool and enhance their credit-assessment skills to help them move away, some from mere security-backed lending.
Threats - International compliance and capital requirements. Unsophisticated borrowers; institutional risk aversion.
Edward Seaga - Distinguished Fellow, University of the West Indies
Strengths - Media information; creative abilities trying with growing success.
Weaknesses - The media is too oriented to crime reports; too much emphasis on pictures in news media; radio is too monotonous in records selection; and television has too many rubbish films.
Opportunities - Fix the weaknesses.
Threats - Reduction in use of media.
Professor Densil Williams - executive director, Mona School of Business and Management
Strengths - Jamaica has English, the lingua franca of international commerce as its national language, and it also has a well-developed stock of human capital, both critical variables in the delivery of services.
Weaknesses - Jamaica lacks timeliness in the delivery of services, especially in the area of professional services.
Opportunities - With its well-developed human capital, coupled with the advantage of speaking English, there are tremendous opportunities in the outsourcing of services to the global marketplace.
Threats - The rise in cybercrime can pose serious impediments to outsourcing of services from the global economy to Jamaica.
Professor Ian Boxhill - Director, Centre for Tourism and Policy Research, University of the West Indies
Strengths - High level of local creativity, talent, enthusiasm (especially in music digital areas); the integration of technology; and significant youth involvement in the sector.
Weaknesses - Lack of institutional support and appropriate policy framework for sustainably growing the sector; poor understanding of the broad sector by policymakers.
Opportunities - The potential for innovation, expansion, and employment generation is arguably greater than other sectors of the economy. This is especially true for film, entertainment, software development, and other related digital services.
Threats - Competition from global players with more educated, disciplined, and organised workforces operating with the appropriate institutional support and policies.
David Jessop - Consultant, The Caribbean Council
Strengths - Jamaica has established itself as a world-class tourism destination and is considered 'hot' internationally. Its entertainment industry has become a global attribute to its image.
Weaknesses - There needs to be more emphasis on service and cuisine in hospitality and more in the way of attractions and tourism in rural areas. In relation to music and the arts, there needs to be more focus on retaining royalties and taxable income in Jamaica.
Opportunities - In tourism, the process of market diversification and increased airlift need to continue to be pursued. Jamaica needs, in relation to entertainment, to do more to integrate its offerings externally with brand Jamaica, with the support of successful artistes.
Threats - Global competition in relation to hospitality and losing creative talent overseas in relation to entertainment.
Francis Wade - Management consultant
Strengths - We are highly motivated at the highest levels and innovate widely.
Weaknesses - We accept low standards of productivity as if they were normal.
Opportunities - We can be so much better if we were to address our weaknesses seriously.
Threats - The world might pass us by in terms of our individual productivity.