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State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, says the Government is working towards the development of an effective Services Growth and Expansion Plan, in an effort to further advance the services sector.

Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said the initiative forms an integral part of the Vision 2030 National Development Plan, which is also in support of the National Export Strategy’s (NES) objective of increasing the contribution of services to overall exports by 2013.

Vision 2030 Jamaica is the country’s first long-term national development plan, which aims at enabling Jamaica to achieve developed country status by 2030.  It is based on a comprehensive vision: "Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business."

Making her contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 18, the State Minister informed that the Ministry has been placing much focus on the sustainable development of the services sector, which currently contributes some 74 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said that in this vein, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), which is at the forefront of the initiative, has secured a total of US$405,000 from the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFUND), to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding sector.   

She further informed that through the Jamaica Coalition of Services Industries (JCSI), a consultant has been secured and will be assisting the JCSI in developing the sector expansion plan, to be finalised by October 2012.

"This plan will outline the strategies for the development of five priority services sectors over a three-year period," the State Minister said.