Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, is urging businesses to deepen participation in national growth efforts, in this the country’s 50th year of independence.
He also called on all sectors to be accountable to each other and the nation for their roles in growing the economy.
“Every sector has a responsibility to join in the efforts to move us towards growth and development. Participation, accountability and responsibility – these are the principles from our progressive agenda that we, as a new Government, has to emphasise. These are the principles we bring to the table as the philosophies that will guide our action,” Mr. Hylton said.
The Minister was addressing the media launch of Expo Jamaica 2012, at the Wyndham Hotel, in New Kingston, today (January 24).
The Minister cited the Prime Minister’s call for every business to make the effort to employ one additional qualified person in the short term.
“Such a move will have a ripple effect across this nation, that will redound to the benefit of our people, and ultimately to your business, and the quality of life for all Jamaicans. By employing one additional person, you will stimulate the demand for products and services,” Mr. Hylton argued.
Meanwhile, the Minister said that the Government was cognisant of the challenges facing both consumers and business operators. “We also know that despite the challenges, for many businesses, increasing employment opportunities for our people is not a new activity,” he said.
“I take the opportunity to salute the captains of industry for keeping thousands of Jamaicans employed and for creating new jobs. However in this moment, our jubilee year, we ask you to make a special effort in employment. Now is the time for every stakeholder who can, to make a special effort to do so…now is the time to recommit to solidifying our commitment to building this country,” Mr. Hylton said.
The Minister pointed out that in its unique way, Expo Jamaica 2012 demonstrates ways in which new jobs can be created, noting the input of artists, artisans, carpenters, designers, entertainers, labourers, among others, which represent Jamaicans at work.
“Each one of these represents a new job in the short term. We must also keep in mind the micro enterprises, the efforts of women and men who traditionally vend in the vicinity of the arena, and the taxi men and women who bring patrons to enjoy the activities…these too are important commercial activities, generated by the staging of events such as Expo 2012,” he said.
Scheduled for April 26-29 at the National Arena, in Kingston, the biennial expo, being held under the theme, ‘Jamaica to the World’, is jointly staged by the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA), Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), with major sponsorship of $3.5 million from telecommunications provider, LIME. Other sponsors include National Commercial Bank, Jamaica Public Service Company, GraceKennedy and Company Limited, the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, and Lithographic Printers.
Manager, Export Promotion at JAMPRO, Berletta Forrester, informed that already, some 85 buyers from 11 countries are registered, including regional countries such as Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada, and others as far away as Hungary and in Africa. Twenty-three local buyers are also now registered, including purchasing teams from local hotels and attractions.
“If you purchase items for your organisation, whatever business you’re in, especially if you’re now buying from overseas, I urge you to look at what Jamaica has to offer and to start buying locally. This is how we are going to be able to grow our economy,” she urged.
Individuals and companies can get further details by visiting: www.expojamaica.com.jm, the JMA website at: www.jma.com.jm, the JEA website at: www.exportjamaica.org, or JAMPRO’s website at: www.jamaicatradeandinvest.org. Pre-expo activities can be followed on twitter.com/expojamaica, or ‘liked’ on www.facebook.com/expojamaica.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter