Manufacturing is key - Seaga
President of the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA), Metry Seaga, has said the sector has a key role to play in facilitating the country's plan of achieving five per cent growth in the next four years.
He noted that the manufacturing sector contributes 8.5 per cent to gross domestic product (GDP) compared to agriculture, forestry and fisheries which contribute 7.3 per cent; mining and quarrying, 2.2 per cent and tourism, 5.8 per cent.
Seaga was speaking at a press conference at the JMA headquarters on Duke Street, on Thursday.
He said the sector employs in excess of 80,000 persons and exported a total of US$803 million worth of goods for the period January to August 2016. The manufacturing sector also contributed $55.9 billion in taxes for the 2015-16 financial year.
"Manufacturing remains a key pillar of the Jamaican economy and the sector is an important driver of productivity, growth and trade. Our plan, as outlined in the manufacturing growth strategy, is to grow GDP from 8.6 to nearly 16 per cent; employment by 20 per cent, to 95,000 jobs and to grow exports by 20 per cent," Seaga said.
Meanwhile, through the Tourism Linkages Hub, and in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, the JMA will be hosting an Opportunities Investment Forum in Montego Bay.
Seaga also informed that the organisation would be publishing a suppliers directory and creating a search engine that will be the first point of reference for hoteliers and investors to find local manufacturers
The JMA has also established a partnership with the financial sector that offer members discounted rates on key facilities.
Seaga said significant partnerships have been established with the National Commercial Bank, the EXIM Bank and the Voucher Technical Programme.