JIS News

Minister of Industry, Investment, and Commerce, Karl Samuda, has made an impassioned appeal to stakeholders in the export sector, to embark on an urgent retooling exercise.
Speaking today (March 17), at the validation session of the National Export Strategy, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Mr. Samuda sought to mobilise players in the sector to inject capital in a comprehensive retooling programme.
The Minister maintained that this is the direction that sector interests will have to pursue, to keep pace with the rest of the world or risk languishing behind.
According to Mr. Samuda, in order to become more competitive in the global marketplace, stakeholders in the export sector must not recoil from purchasing updated and current technology.
“I reject the notion that labour cost is burdensome; labour cost is burdensome when it is non-productive. It is going to take a recommitment to labour and capital and vice versa, in a synergistic way,” Mr. Samuda declared.
“What we need now is to maximise our potential. There is the need to remove the impediments to true development, through productivity,” the Minister said.
He suggested that the National Export Strategy would help to remove the impediments, which he described as outdated technology.
“A worker is as good as the technology he or she is given to use against the competition,” Mr. Samuda stressed.
The Minister pointed out that while Jamaica cannot afford to purchase the research that produces advanced technology, it can make good use of the final product to improve its capability and capacity to produce.
The Minister cited the potential of the agro-sector to substantiate his arguments, submitting that Jamaica possesses the capacity to lead the world in the production of value-added material.
“We need to engage technology to move from the primary product to the secondary product,” he asserted.
Mr. Samuda argued that the National Export Strategy, which is to be implemented on April 1, would serve as an invaluable guide if it is translated into action.

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