Ex­ports crit­i­cal to achiev­ing the 5-in-4 growth tar­get

Jamaica Gleaner - - GROWTH & JOBS -

PRES­I­DENT BARACK Obama told Amer­i­cans at the 2012 Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion that “we can choose a fu­ture where we ex­port more prod­ucts and out­source fewer jobs”. The same ap­plies to Ja­maica and the Na­tional Ex­port Strat­egy Phase II, or NES2, which is one of the bridges that can help get Ja­maica across the debt-bur­den thresh­old and closer to­wards sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth and the achieve­ment of five per cent growth in four years.

The NES2 is a four-year plan that was started in 2015 to stim­u­late ex­ports through the im­ple­men­ta­tion of tar­geted mar­ket-driven ini­tia­tives in sec­tors that have strong growth po­ten­tial. It in­cor­po­rates el­e­ments such as ex­port fi­nanc­ing, stan­dards, and sup­ply-chain man­age­ment.

The strat­egy aims to in­crease Ja­maica’s ex­port earn­ings to that of pre­re­ces­sion­ary lev­els of to­tal ex­ports from US$1.2 bil­lion to US$2.5 bil­lion by 2019, while grow­ing non-tra­di­tional seg­ments of that ex­port tar­get. Ar­eas of po­ten­tial are light man­u­fac­tur­ing, film and an­i­ma­tion, and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy-en­abled ser­vice. These would com­ple­ment ex­ist­ing tra­di­tional ar­eas such as tourism and min­ing, where lime­stone still holds tremen­dous un­tapped po­ten­tial.

TAR­GETS OF FIRST NES

The first NES had spe­cific tar­gets: to in­crease the con­tri­bu­tion of the ex­port sec­tor to job cre­ation and GDP; to re­duce the ra­tio of the im­ports to ex­ports; to di­ver­sify ex­ports through value ad­di­tion; and, to build a com­pet­i­tive mind­set among pro­duc­ers who have the po­ten­tial to ex­port.

In ad­di­tion to the new goals set out for NES2, a fo­cus on strength­en­ing the ca­pac­ity and struc­ture of our pro­cesses is equally im­por­tant in or­der to re­alise our full po­ten­tial as a na­tion.

JAMPRO will play an in­te­gral role by driv­ing en­gage­ment of in­ter­na­tional dis­trib­u­tors and lo­cal busi­nesses by as­sist­ing lo­cal com­pa­nies with ex­port pre­pared­ness, mar­ket re­search, gain­ing ac­cess to new mar­kets, and iden­ti­fy­ing and fa­cil­i­tat­ing the growth of new and emerg­ing sec­tors that are vi­able for ex­ports.

The suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of the NES2 is achiev­able if we can se­cure a co­he­sive part­ner­ship be­tween the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors. The Gov­ern­ment should cre­ate an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for busi­ness to be done and then move out of the way so that com­pa­nies can op­er­ate with­out the type of bu­reau­cracy and lengthy de­lays that sti­fle rather than pro­mote suc­cess. What this means is that pri­vate-sec­tor play­ers must po­si­tion them­selves to be in­no­va­tive and com­pet­i­tive in or­der to cap­i­talise on the op­por­tu­ni­ties that a stream­lined ex­port in­dus­try can present.

CON­TRIB­UTED

JAMPRO Chair­man Don We­hby (sec­ond right); Deputy Chair­man of JAMPRO’s Board of Direc­tors, Metry Seaga (right); and Pres­i­dent of JAMPRO, Diane Ed­wards, speak to past JAMPRO staff mem­ber Simeon Parker (left) and JAMPRO em­ployee Karl Stafford dur­ing a re­cently held tour to meet the staff of JAMPRO’s head of­fice in Kingston.

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