Tue | Aug 21, 2018

Growth & Jobs | JAMPRO reports growth in non-traditional export

Published:Tuesday | December 5, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Diane Edwards
Don Wehby

The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) has reported steady growth in investments and export sales facilitated in the past five years.

Over that period, JAMPRO has facilitated US$1.1 billion in export sales, 45,609 new jobs and over J$149 billion in capital expenditure. This fiscal year (2016/2017), JAMPRO is reporting record numbers for capital expenditure (CAPEX) - US$406.7 million spent to develop investment projects, 12,913 jobs, and export sales of US$207.6 million. CAPEX and export sales reported a 12 per cent and 15 per cent increase over the 2015/2016 year respectively.

The agency credits the performance to the continuous improvement of its promotional efforts for key growth sectors identified in Vision 2030. JAMPRO says sectors such as tourism, logistics, manufacturing, ICT, mining and energy have been the top performers for investments and jobs, while agribusiness companies were the top performers for export sales.

In 2016/2017, JAMPRO noted its work with the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Authority, the Economic Growth Council, improved market access for 20 companies in the agency's export development programme Export Max II, the launch of the Cuban Market Development Programme, and work to develop Jamaica's film industry as standout projects for the year.

JAMPRO President, Diane Edwards, said that the upward trend in growth has made the JAMPRO team confident that the agency is heading in the right direction, which would continue to improve JAMPRO's contribution to Jamaica's economic development. Edwards explained that JAMPRO was focused on becoming a more innovative investment and export promotions agency, to boost its contribution to Jamaica. "At this important juncture in Jamaica's economy, we have to become more innovative, market and data driven if we want to achieve real economic growth. Along with the launch of an improved marketing programme for Jamaica, JAMPRO will be moving forward with plans to improve internal operations and develop more targeted strategies to get the right persons investing in, and buying from Jamaica. We aim to create more jobs, facilitate more investments, and get more Jamaican products in international markets for the new fiscal year," Edwards explained.

Optimistic for greater achievements 2017-2018

JAMPRO'S Chairman, Don Wehby, described the formula for JAMPRO's success as a mixture of a focused team, strategic partners and dedication to accelerating Jamaica's progress. Wehby, who took the helm as JAMPRO's chairman in 2016, said the agency was moving towards being even more efficient, attracting more investors to Jamaica, and getting more products into international markets.

Wehby said, "Based on the agency's recent performance, I am optimistic that we will have even greater achievements to report at the end of the 2017-2018 fiscal year such as increased collaboration with our public and private partners, the development and establishment of a National Investment Policy to manage how investments are facilitated in Jamaica, and an improvement in the agency's overall operations.

"The agency is currently executing its three-year strategy, and based on our current progress, I believe that the future of JAMPRO and Jamaica looks bright. I am excited and inspired by the work that is ahead."