Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce Hon. Michael Stern, has said that Government is committed to the drive for global competitiveness and has created a National Export Strategy to take Jamaican exports to the next level.
“The time has truly come for us to capitalise on our unique geographical location at the centre of the Americas, by uniting to become one regional trading bloc through the systematic convergence of our trade systems and processes to global standards,” Mr. Stern said in an address to the Aid for Trade High-level Meeting on Mobilising the Private Sector, Caribbean Aid for Trade Sub-regional Review, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay St. James today (May 6), which was read by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Reginald Budhan.
“It must be our firm resolve, therefore, to build a competitive advantage for our goods and services on the platform of culturally inspired creativity and innovation,” the message stated.
Former Trade Ambassador Richard Bernal, (right) shares pleasantries with Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC) based in Geneva, Pat Francis (left) during the Aid for Trade High-Level Conference at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay St. James, today (May 6).
He added that achieving that competitive advantage meant that there has to be an effective distinction and differentiation of products, or services in the market place.
Mr. Stern said that he was proud that Jamaica now had a National Export Strategy, as the productive sector was regarded as key to the growth and development that the country was in search of.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce Reginald Budhan, addressing participants in the Aid for Trade High-Level Conference at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay St. James, today (May 6).
He explained that the National Export Strategy will be seeking to: increase the current value of non-traditional exports by 50 per cent by 2012; increase the contribution of services exported as a percentage of overall exports, with emphasis on the professional services and creative industries sectors; increase penetration of existing markets; and access new and emerging markets.
He called on representatives at the meeting to explore ways of forging a regional trading bloc and develop a regional export strategy, to carefully factor in the distinguishing feature of Caribbean culture in the packaging of goods and services, to meet global demand.
Topical issues on trade and related areas will be tackled over the three-day conference by way of panel discussions, group dynamics and individual presentations, which will focus on the most immediate challenges for the Caribbean region.