The Jamaica Productivity Centre is reporting that e-commerce and online shopping are flourishing among Jamaican consumers.
“There was increased productivity in every quarter last year in the Wholesale and Retail Trade industry, with the last two quarters recording increases of 1.1 per cent and 11.5 per cent, respectively,” Minister of Labour and Social Security. Hon. Karl Samuda, said.
Mr. Samuda was speaking at the Jamaica Productivity Centre forum, held virtually on June 20.
Capitalising on this trend, the Minister said $5 billion has been allocated in this financial year, through the Development Bank of Jamaica, to finance micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), with solutions aimed at increasing e-commerce.
Mr. Samuda informed that this includes the installation of online payment and other e-commerce facilities, cross-border e-commerce and trading and digital food ordering.
In addition, the Minister noted that financial technology (FinTech) is already automating global finances.
“Locally, JAM-DEX is emerging as one of our digital Jamaican currencies, and more banking apps are being initialised and updated for convenient use. FinTech allows for efficient ease of transactions and, more importantly, for more Jamaicans to be incorporated into the formal banking system,” Mr. Samuda said.
The Minister argued that Jamaica’s move towards higher technological advancement is being hampered by low levels of foreign and local investments.
“Although we are making progress in some sectors, we must attract more investments for greater growth. We must also reorient, nurture and train the labour force for these technological opportunities, and allow them to participate actively in the process,” Mr. Samuda said.
Meanwhile, the Jamaica Productivity Centre continues to spearhead the development of the Ministry’s policy on productivity.
Mr. Samuda said work continues apace on the national policy on productivity, which will guide the improvements in efficiency and support the conditions to drive a better quality of life in Jamaica.
The Centre is also looking at the new wave and attitude of entrepreneurism among Jamaicans.