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State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, has called on exporters to make the necessary investments in their businesses, which will distinguish their products in the global marketplace.

Speaking at the Jamaica Exporters Association’s (JEA) 47th Annual General Meeting in Kingston, recently, she said that in light of the removal of preferential trade agreements, which assured the country of guaranteed markets for its exports, Jamaica must move to develop and identify niche and emerging markets to which to sell their goods and services.

“We must be assertive in penetrating and in establishing our presence in new markets while protecting our intellectual property rights, and registering our brands through the use of geographic information systems and indicators,” she stated.

“We must modernise our production facilities and operate them at global standards if we are to successfully integrate our businesses into the global supply chain. Global certification and quality standards are now considered basic requirements without which, exporting MSMEs cannot even enter the global arena,” she added.

In this regard, she urged business stakeholders to take advantage of the facilities, programmes and provisions available under the National Export Strategy (NES), such as the Export Plus Programme.

“At the end of the programme, we expect that there will be marked improvement in participating operators in the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector, to compete more confidently and effectively in international markets. I look forward to the positive results of this key initiative and, as such, its benefits to the export sector,” Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said.