JAMPRO: Changing from within to meet Jamaica’s objectives
Jamaica's positive movement on the Global Competitiveness Report and the Doing Business Report signals that Jamaicans are embracing a better way of doing business that can promote economic growth in all sectors. Every Jamaican should have a strong sense of ownership of the process to develop the country's economy and seize opportunities to do so, whether it is in entrepreneurship, innovation, crime reduction, increased productivity, or otherwise.
At GraceKennedy Ltd, each staff member owns a piece of the company's strategic vision, which places Jamaica at the centre, while pursuing the goal of becoming a global consumer group. Similarly, JAMPRO is a stakeholder in and accepts ownership of Jamaica's performance in business and in achieving growth through the implementation of a transformational and winning strategy.
As JAMPRO saddles up to do its part in helping Jamaica achieve five per cent growth in four years, we will be guided by the following four corporate imperatives:
1. Actively promote investments and exports.
2. Build global business relationships through effective management.
3. Foster an enabling business environment.
4. Nurture an engaged high-performing, collaborative team guided by a strong governance and performance-management framework.
JAMPRO now has a more focused strategy, part of which is to drive exports by breaking into new niche markets and expanding significantly in existing ones. The organisation intends to embrace its role to support the creation of an enabling environment, working with the Economic Growth Council and key government partners to facilitate investors and exporters. We will also aggressively promote investments and exports while building global business relationships through our local and international promotional activities such as Road Show USA, PROPELLA, and the Flavours of Jamaica Campaign. The new DoBusiness
Jamaica.com blog is one of our innovative ways of using a single digital platform for business dialogue and knowledge exchange among entrepreneurs, investors, media, and the wider public.
Our strategy is also hinged on underpinning transformational leadership and a culture of accountability not only within JAMPRO, but also across Government. For JAMPRO's part, we intend to pursue a compelling talent strategy to ensure that we can meet our goals. One integral move is for the Government to expedite the transformation of systems to electronic programmes, which will not only improve efficiencies, but also help to reduce incidents of corruption and increase predictability and business confidence, especially for entrepreneurs.
At the end of the '5 in 4' growth-strategy period, we expect to see at least US$2 billion in foreign direct investments (FDI) and the creation of more than 30,000 jobs over the next three years. In the business process outsourcing sector, we are aiming for the creation of 11,000 additional jobs by 2020, many of which we are targeting as high-skilled and knowledge based such as in the area of legal process outsourcing.
A major component of the strategy is renewed focus on home-grown businesses across all focus sectors, which includes tourism, agriculture, logistics, manufacturing, outsourcing, and creative industries. With the impending promulgation of regulations under the Special Economic Zone Act, we expect to attract more businesses that can use Jamaica as a platform for their manufacturing and logistics operations. This could be quite a boon to both job creation and export growth as there will be opportunities in a number of areas, including agro processing and the medical and pharmaceutical sectors.
The success of the strategy will be measured by the value of local and foreign direct investments facilitated, the number of jobs created, the value of exports, and other key performance indicators, while keeping our eye on national indicators such as FDI inflows, export sales, and competitiveness indices.
There is great potential, but to realise that promise, all of us must own a part of establishing Jamaica as the ideal place to do global business.
- Don Wehby is JAMPRO chairman and GraceKennedy Group CEO.