Strong Performances by Manufacturing and Agricultural Sectors Vital – Senator Wehby

Photo: JIS Regional Office Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GraceKennedy Group and Chairman of JAMPRO, Senator Don Wehby, addresses the media launch of the Jamaica International Exhibition (JIE) Trade Show, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, on January 11.

Story Highlights

  • Senator Wehby was addressing the launch of the inaugural Jamaica International Exhibition (JIE) Trade Show, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Rose Hall, St. James, on January 11. The show will be staged from June 1-4 at the centre.
  • Senator Wehby He noted that while the country is halfway to reaching the US$2.5-billion export-growth target, it needs powerful performances from both sectors over the next three years to get safely across the finish line.
  • , President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Metry Seaga, said his organisation is looking forward to hosting the biggest trade show to be held in this country or anywhere in the region.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GraceKennedy Group, Senator Don Wehby, says strong performances by the manufacturing and agricultural sectors represent Jamaica’s best chance to achieve its economic-growth target by 2020.

Senator Wehby was addressing the launch of the inaugural Jamaica International Exhibition (JIE)  Trade Show, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Rose Hall, St. James, on January 11. The show will be staged from June 1-4 at the centre.

He noted that while the country is halfway to reaching the US$2.5-billion export-growth target, it needs powerful performances from both sectors over the next three years to get safely across the finish line.

“We need to have a clear strategic plan in how we are going to get the remaining US$1.2 billion,” Mr. Wehby, who is also the Chairman of JAMPRO, argued.

“This target is also a central part of JAMPRO’s own strategic target over the next three years. I have said to the management team and Board that we have to work with the mindset that whatever gets measured is whatever gets done,” he added.

Senator Wehby said it is mandated that the management team at JAMPRO report to the Board as to how they are doing in terms of reaching this target.

“The target will be achieved by increasing export-led investment, expanding export reach globally, and advocating for reductions in the barriers to trade,” he emphasised.

“It is for this reason that during the process of developing JAMPRO’s strategic plan late last year, that emphasis was placed on identifying and focusing on key sectors in which Jamaica can position itself as a source of niche and ethnic products, in addition to lifestyle products that are uniquely Jamaican,” Senator Wehby said.

He informed that the JAMPRO team is working on creating targeted promotional programmes that will drive investments in these areas, from both local and overseas investors, while defining the critical strategies that will get Jamaican products to markets across the globe.

For his part, President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Metry Seaga, said his organisation is looking forward to hosting the biggest trade show to be held in this country or anywhere in the region.

“The JIE is a new and exciting venture which will offer business people an opportunity to interact and rub shoulders with some of the largest and most important traders worldwide, in an up-close-and-personal atmosphere, aimed at discovering new markets and exploring untapped potential,” Mr. Seaga explained.

“We are moving outside our comfort zone and looking at broadening our horizon. The JIE, we feel, will fill a void that currently exists, to bring business people from all around the world into Jamaica to sell their wares… to see what opportunities exist in Jamaica,” he added.

 

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