JAMPRO: Chang­ing from within to meet Ja­maica’s ob­jec­tives

Jamaica Gleaner - - GROWTH & JOBS - Don We­hby is JAMPRO chair­man and GraceKennedy Group CEO.

JA­MAICA’S POS­I­TIVE move­ment on the Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness Re­port and the Do­ing Busi­ness Re­port sig­nals that Jamaicans are em­brac­ing a bet­ter way of do­ing busi­ness that can pro­mote eco­nomic growth in all sec­tors. Ev­ery Jamaican should have a strong sense of own­er­ship of the process to de­velop the coun­try’s econ­omy and seize op­por­tu­ni­ties to do so, whether it is in en­trepreneur­ship, in­no­va­tion, crime re­duc­tion, in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity, or oth­er­wise.

At GraceKennedy Ltd, each staff mem­ber owns a piece of the com­pany’s strate­gic vi­sion, which places Ja­maica at the cen­tre, while pur­su­ing the goal of be­com­ing a global con­sumer group. Sim­i­larly, JAMPRO is a stake­holder in and ac­cepts own­er­ship of Ja­maica’s per­for­mance in busi­ness and in achiev­ing growth through the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a trans­for­ma­tional and win­ning strat­egy.

As JAMPRO sad­dles up to do its part in help­ing Ja­maica achieve five per cent growth in four years, we will be guided by the fol­low­ing four cor­po­rate im­per­a­tives: 1. Ac­tively pro­mote in­vest­ments and

ex­ports. 2. Build global busi­ness re­la­tion­ships

through ef­fec­tive man­age­ment. 3. Fos­ter an en­abling busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment. 4. Nur­ture an en­gaged high-per­form­ing, col­lab­o­ra­tive team guided by a strong gov­er­nance and per­for­mance-man­age­ment frame­work. JAMPRO now has a more fo­cused strat­egy, part of which is to drive ex­ports by break­ing into new niche mar­kets and ex­pand­ing sig­nif­i­cantly in ex­ist­ing ones. The or­gan­i­sa­tion in­tends to em­brace its role to sup­port the cre­ation of an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment, work­ing with the Eco­nomic Growth Coun­cil and key gov­ern­ment part­ners to fa­cil­i­tate in­vestors and ex­porters. We will also ag­gres­sively pro­mote in­vest­ments and ex­ports while build­ing global busi­ness re­la­tion­ships through our lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional pro­mo­tional ac­tiv­i­ties such as Road Show USA, PROPELLA, and the Flavours of Ja­maica Cam­paign. The new DoBusi­ness Ja­maica.com blog is one of our in­no­va­tive ways of us­ing a sin­gle dig­i­tal plat­form for busi­ness di­a­logue and knowl­edge ex­change among en­trepreneurs, in­vestors, me­dia, and the wider pub­lic.


Our strat­egy is also hinged on un­der­pin­ning trans­for­ma­tional lead­er­ship and a cul­ture of ac­count­abil­ity not only within JAMPRO, but also across Gov­ern­ment. For JAMPRO’s part, we in­tend to pur­sue a com­pelling tal­ent strat­egy to en­sure that we can meet our goals. One in­te­gral move is for the Gov­ern­ment to ex­pe­dite the trans­for­ma­tion of sys­tems to elec­tronic pro­grammes, which will not only im­prove ef­fi­cien­cies, but also help to re­duce in­ci­dents of cor­rup­tion and in­crease pre­dictabil­ity and busi­ness con­fi­dence, es­pe­cially for en­trepreneurs.

At the end of the ‘5 in 4’ growth-strat­egy pe­riod, we ex­pect to see at least US$2 bil­lion in for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments (FDI) and the cre­ation of more than 30,000 jobs over the next three years. In the busi­ness process out­sourc­ing sec­tor, we are aim­ing for the cre­ation of 11,000 ad­di­tional jobs by 2020, many of which we are tar­get­ing as high-skilled and knowl­edge based such as in the area of le­gal process out­sourc­ing.

A ma­jor com­po­nent of the strat­egy is re­newed fo­cus on home-grown busi­nesses across all fo­cus sec­tors, which in­cludes tourism, agri­cul­ture, lo­gis­tics, man­u­fac­tur­ing, out­sourc­ing, and cre­ative in­dus­tries. With the im­pend­ing pro­mul­ga­tion of reg­u­la­tions un­der the Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone Act, we ex­pect to at­tract more busi­nesses that can use Ja­maica as a plat­form for their man­u­fac­tur­ing and lo­gis­tics op­er­a­tions. This could be quite a boon to both job cre­ation and ex­port growth as there will be op­por­tu­ni­ties in a num­ber of ar­eas, in­clud­ing agro pro­cess­ing and the med­i­cal and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal sec­tors.

The suc­cess of the strat­egy will be mea­sured by the value of lo­cal and for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments fa­cil­i­tated, the num­ber of jobs cre­ated, the value of ex­ports, and other key per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors, while keep­ing our eye on na­tional in­di­ca­tors such as FDI in­flows, ex­port sales, and com­pet­i­tive­ness indices.

There is great po­ten­tial, but to re­alise that prom­ise, all of us must own a part of es­tab­lish­ing Ja­maica as the ideal place to do global busi­ness.


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