Tue | Dec 12, 2017

Growth & Jobs | JAMPRO: Investment in minerals sector critical to growth

Published:Tuesday | November 28, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Michael Henry, minister of transport and mining (right) greets Berletta Henlon-Forrester, manager of manufacturing, energy and and mining at JAMPRO and Ricardo Durrant, senior manager of sales and promotions, JAMPRO.

The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) says that the revitalisation of the mining sector through investment is a major part of the agency's economic development strategy for Jamaica. The agency made the announcement last Tuesday at the National Minerals Week Investment Forum, an event hosted in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and Mining.

JAMPRO said that as the sector has potential to increase its contribution to Jamaica's economy, the agency has outlined a marketing and sector development strategy for the industry. In addition to the usual promotional tools used by JAMPRO to promote sectors for investment and export, JAMPRO will identify an international partner to focus on promoting Jamaica's mining and manufacturing sector in the international market for business opportunities.

Similar to its work in the castor oil industry, JAMPRO will also conduct a value-chain study in 2018 to identify value-added products and other possibilities that can be facilitated by the Jamaican market. The study will guide JAMPRO's sector-development strategies in the 2018-2019 financial year.

 

Benefits

 

Claude Duncan, vice-president of sales and promotions at JAMPRO, explained that JAMPRO believed that there were more opportunities available in the industry than were currently being explored. He said, "Recognising the many benefits of this sector as a key driver of the Jamaican economy, JAMPRO is taking the necessary steps to develop the minerals industry."

He explained that mining and quarrying represented the ultimate linkages opportunity, with economic impact in numerous sectors, including manufacturing, Food and pharmaceuticals, construction, and electricity and water supply. JAMPRO will, therefore, be moving forward with its strategy to capitalise on mining as an economic development opportunity, as the value chain incorporates multiple sectors in the Jamaican economy.

'Pull up your socks!'

In his presentation at the National Minerals Week Investment Forum, Mike Henry, minister of transport and mining, also emphasised the importance of mining to Jamaica's economic development.

Noting his excitement about the progress of the National Minerals Policy, he said, "I am pleased that the first draft of the National Minerals Policy is about to be brought to Cabinet. For the very first time, we will have a document that forms the linchpin that will hold the industry together and provide a framework for its development."

With regards to the development of the industry, the minister said that more must be done to diversify the sector, which has been heavily dependent on bauxite and the export of raw materials.

Explaining his position on the matter, he said, "I must also point out that there is no way we can improve this sector without taking steps to diversify it and arrest the value-added components that have seemingly eluded us over the years. The time has come for players in the sector to pull up their socks, lift the standards, organise their operations to maximise returns and go for the growth that beckons."

The Jamaica Promotions Corporation's (JAMPRO) mission is to drive economic development through growth in investment and export. JAMPRO is an agency of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.