The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries has developed a National Five-Year Manufacturing Growth Strategy for Jamaica, aimed at achieving $81 billion per annum in manufacturing output by 2025.
“This translates to an approximate annual average growth rate of three per cent over the five-year period,” said Portfolio Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw.
He was making his contribution to the 2020/21 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 16.
The key objectives being proposed are enhanced workforce productivity via a core training curriculum for manufacturing; improved cost competitiveness, including access to finance; expanded infrastructure, including provision of suitable factory space and addressing transportation logistics challenges; facilitation of market expansion; and incorporation of innovation strategies.
Minister Shaw said that the expected results from the implementation of the five-year manufacturing growth strategy include, inter alia, increased jobs in the manufacturing industry; increased foreign and local direct investment; increased attractiveness of Jamaica as a location for manufacturing; increased ability for local manufacturers to supply products into the domestic market, thereby reducing the level of the country’s imports; and increased export sales of manufactured goods.
Over the last four years, the manufacturing sector has been experiencing the most robust growth of any period during the last 25 years, recording an average quarterly growth rate of 2.2 per cent.
Having recorded a 4.3 per cent growth rate in the third quarter of 2019 when compared with the third quarter of 2018, the sector has now achieved a 2.7 per cent growth rate in the January to March quarter of 2020.