Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Manufacturing contributed J$55.9b to gov't coffers last year - JMA

Published:Sunday | January 15, 2017 | 1:01 AM
A worker at a manufacturing plant.

(JIS) - President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Metry Seaga, says the manufacturing sector contributed J$55.9 billion to the government coffers for 2015/2016, making it the second biggest taxpayer in the country.

He said manufacturing continues to be one of the key pillars of economic growth and offers some of the best opportunities for Jamaica to reach its target of US$2.5 billion in exports by 2020.

“Our sector contributes 8.6 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP),” Seaga said, noting that the JMA “will do everything to ensure that manufacturing remains on solid footing”.

He was speaking at the press launch of the inaugural Jamaica International Exhibition (JIE) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St James on January 11.

Sega told manufacturers that 2017 is the year to be bold, noting that all indicators suggest that Jamaica is poised for a major economic breakthrough.

“Our key macroeconomic indicators, such as inflation, the stabilisation of our dollar, the level of our Net International Reserves (NIR) are saying to us, as businesses both locally and internationally, to make hay while the sun shines and explore the possibilities,” he said.

More than 600 buyers and suppliers from the Caribbean, China, Europe, North and South America, and Canada will converge at the Montego Bay Convention Centre from June 1-4 for the JIE.

The JMA president said the event “will be the platform where we stamp our mark as the place of choice to do business in the Caribbean and expand our reach to the rest of the world”.

“What we will be doing is to promote the use of products manufactured in Jamaica and elsewhere and seek to assist in securing markets for both raw materials and finished products,” he noted further.

Seaga said that it is important for the Government to continue to make improvements in key areas that will drive competitiveness, such as the tax system, labour productivity, the supplier network, legal and regulatory system, energy and capital costs, and healthcare, and promote investments in innovation.