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JIS News

President of the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA), Dr. Andre Gordon, has reported a 39 per cent growth in exports for the period January to May 2006, with earnings moving from approximately $641,361,000 to $827,000,000.
Giving a breakdown of the sector’s performance, Dr. Gordon said that food export “has recovered nicely and is up. Beverage export, which is a major growing segment of the food business, has increased significantly at over 39 per cent”.
He indicated further that crude materials, which include bauxite, alumina and other exports, have also increased. “Fuel and minerals have shown the most dramatic increase of all areas, and this is largely due to the efforts of Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica and their ethanol subsidiary”.
Dr. Gordon, who was speaking at a press briefing held yesterday (Sept. 26) at the Hotel Four Seasons, said that the creditable export performance since the start of the year, was in keeping with double digit growth in the sector over the last several years.
He noted that “total traditional exports have been increasing for the last four years but last year, we saw a reduction in the rate of increase because of the challenges that we had”. He said however, that there has been “significant recovery in traditional exports, many of which are agricultural in nature,” while “we continue to see rapid growth in non traditional areas”.
In the meantime, Dr. Gordon announced that the JEA would be employing strategies to sustain the growth in exports. “This includes making sure we build sustainable competitiveness into our products and services,” he stated.
He pointed to plans to build a national brand platform, which would include small and medium size firms that are in the export market and were facing challenges in intellectual property protection in various markets.
“There is a detailed programme that will be rolled out in the next couple of years so as to help firms in this regard, so that they can expand their markets without fear of losing business to fraudulent competitors,” said Dr. Gordon.