KINGSTON, Jamaica: Supporting the growth of Jamaican exports continues to be a crucial mandate for the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA). This May, we acknowledge and recognize the resilience and capabilities of our local exporters, as we celebrate National Exporters’ Month. The theme, ‘Building A Sustainable Future Through Exports’ echoes a fundamental truth, the building of a viable future for our nation requires the continued development of a robust export pillar.
To mark this year’s observance, the JMEA will be hosting a series of activities specifically designed to assist exporters with boosting their export knowledge and capacity. This includes the Doing Business in Export Workshop series which will analyse the intricacies of conducting export in regions such as North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. The Association is also partnering with the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) to conduct information sessions on product/labelling standards and new developments that are required to become an Authorized Economic Operator for exports.
The period will culminate with three virtual tours featuring Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL), Carita Jamaica Limited, and Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cake Jamaica Limited. The tours will highlight innovations in the export experience and the key processes involved.
Although the recent national statistics on exports have not been encouraging, with a 26.4 percent decline in comparison to the 2019 period, we must still celebrate the improvements made in areas, such as food exports which gained an increase of 9 per cent, earning US$235.8 million. As we mark one year since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize the valuable role exports have played in supporting the Jamaican economy. Exporters during that period tapped into their resilience, pivoted, developed new products, and accessed additional market opportunities.
President of the JMEA, Richard Pandohie, in acknowledgement of National Exporters’ Month, stated “While it is important to assess the high points where exports are concerned, it is even more important to plan the road ahead for improving and sustaining our export performance.
COVID has taught us many lessons and the biggest is the need for diversification of the Jamaican economy. A sharp and resilient recovery is hinged on many things. Export is one of them. As a nation, we need to drive the creation of value-added products and examine the national system in place to promote and support export-led growth.”
Export growth and diversification are essential to Jamaica’s economic recovery and as such, the JMEA will continue to support our exporters and raise awareness on solutions that can help to empower Jamaica’s export landscape. We invite our members, stakeholders, political directorate, and Jamaicans at large to join with us this National Exporters’ Month as we build a sustainable future for our nation through exports.