Ministry Will Seek to Increase Manufacturing Sector’s Contribution to GDP – Mr. Samuda


Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda has noted that the manufacturing sector in Jamaica has a vital role to play in the growth and development of the Jamaican economy.
He also said that while the sector in the past contributed up to 20 to 21 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product and is now only contributing close to 13 per cent, said “my objective is to see to it that through the collaboration and close working relationship between the Ministry and the sector that we can see that restored to the levels that it was in the 1980’s.”
“I also think that it is vitally important and it offers the best opportunity for the creation of jobs and we need to get to the stage where we employ in the manufacturing sector a minimum of 250,000. We are down now to probably half of that, what you were back in 1980s,” he said.
Mr. Samuda was speaking at the official launch of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA)/Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA) 2008 Expo at the JMA’s Duke Street offices today (Feb.14).
He further said that there are other emerging industries on which greater emphasis can be placed and “the key to what we can do successfully and the key to what can enhance our opportunities to very competitive and earn foreign exchange is through the agro industry to process what is grown locally.””Aligned to that is the tremendous capacity we have for acquiring knowledge and so therefore I see the services sector as a key sector that offers great opportunities for employment and for foreign exchange earning,” Mr. Samuda continued. In the meantime Omar Azan, President of the JMA said that the expo will showcase evidence of “Jamaica’s prowess in the manufacturers and service providers who will be present.”
“You will receive proof that manufacturers are devoted to taking advantage of access to world markets. Let us therefore as a nation, work together to create an environment that encourages expansion in the different spheres,” Mr. Azan added.
The JMA/JEA expo will be held from May 1 to 4, 2008 at the National Arena where 200 booths will be displaying a wide range of authentic Jamaican products.

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