On 21-22 January senior decision makers from the business community, government, donor agencies, academia and civil society met in Kingston to discuss the design of Jamaica’s second National Export Strategy (NES).
The second NES will target the Government of Jamaica’s vision of an expanded and diversified export base, which is further stated in Jamaica’s Vision 2030 National Development Plan.
The Commonwealth Secretariat was asked to provide technical assistance to the Government of Jamaica, supporting its efforts in developing the second NES to improve the global competitiveness of Jamaican goods and services in regional and international markets.
Over 100 participants took part in the brainstorming sessions and workshops to develop the strategic export priorities and interventions which will aid the transformation and improvement of Jamaica’s export sector.
Participants validated five sectors to be prioritised for development under the NES: mining; film and animation; agri-processing; information technology enabled services, and manufacturing. Five cross-cutting issues were also identified: finance; market access and trade information; capacity building; quality and standards, and logistics.
Sector Action Plans which detail up to 15 interventions for each sector and issue were drafted over the course of the meeting and once finalised will be implemented over the four year NES strategy period.
Yinka Bandele, Adviser for Trade and Competitiveness at the Commonwealth Secretariat said: “Jamaica is very focused on transforming key areas of the economy, as demonstrated by its concerted efforts to unleash the potential of the private sector through regulatory reform.”
Ms Bandele said: “The export sector is an essential part of the economy and implementation of the second NES will improve the global competitiveness of Jamaica's exports. The NES project builds on previous work that we have done with Jamaica on export competitiveness.”
“We want to see Jamaica excel and grow. The economic success of Jamaica is incredibly important to the success of the Caribbean region.”
Under the leadership of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the NES Secretariat, formed of Jamaica’s premier trade supporting agencies: JAMPRO, the Trade Board Ltd and the Jamaican Exporters’ Association, led the way in preparing key stakeholders for this consultative process and has worked in close partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat to prepare for the delivery of the NES project.
The Commonwealth Secretariat remains a keen partner in development with Jamaica, and will continue to lend its in-house support to the Government of Jamaica, beyond the launch of the NES.