• JIS News

    Story Highlights

    • The latest Competitiveness Index Report shows the country’s ranking improving by three places
    • Jamaica has improved by 11 points on the labour market efficiency index
    • “No effort will be spared” in getting Jamaica’s exporters ready for competition in global markets

    Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, says the recent improvement in Jamaica’s ranking on the World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index, reflects the positive efforts and commitment by Government to strengthen the country’s business competitiveness platform.

    The latest Competitiveness Index Report shows the country’s ranking improving by three places, climbing from 97 to 94.

    Speaking at Tuesday’s (September 10) opening of the Jamaica Exporters’ Association’s (JEA) inaugural two-day packaging exposition and conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, Mr. Hylton said that this is “positive and important news for us to welcome.”

    The Minister said the Report also indicates that Jamaica has improved by 11 points on the labour market efficiency index, and eight points in the financial markets development.

    Mr. Hylton said he was also “very impressed” by the fact that Jamaica’s ranking in business sophistication and innovation, has improved by seven points.

    This, he argued, “shows that Jamaica has recognised the need to develop our individual enterprises into global businesses that can take advantage of technological progress and sophisticated methods of doing business.”

    These improvements, Mr. Hylton said, also indicate that the Government’s reforms and policy shifts, as well as the efforts of producers and exporters of Jamaica, are advancing “in the right direction”.

    “Inch by inch, we are getting it right. Our diligence as a country – the Government, the people, and private sector groupings such as the JEA – is being recognised by the global community, and is placing us in a better position to realize our long-term goals for Jamaica,” the Minister added.

    While citing that the Global Competitive Report reflects less concern by the business community over things like access to finance and the crime rate, Mr. Hylton said it has also heightened the administration’s recognition of the need to do much more to reduce inefficiencies across Government. In this regard, he gave the administration’s undertaking to “redouble our efforts to strengthen the competitiveness of our business environment in pursuit of an export-led growth strategy.”

    “We will ramp up our work on the National Competitiveness Council in order to build and deepen the synergies between ministries and agencies to ensure that we make Jamaica a business-friendly country that facilitates rather than impedes,” he indicated.

    The Minister also gave the assurance that “no effort will be spared” in getting Jamaica’s exporters ready for competition in global markets, stressing that export readiness “must be the clarion call for our exporter community.”

    “Exporters must undertake the necessary capacity building, retooling, and upgrading, to ensure relevance in a fast changing global business environment, where innovation and intensifiedcompetition is the order of the day. Take advantage of programmes, led by the Government in this regard; talk to the Jamaica Business Development Centre or JAMPRO. They exist to assist and support potential and existing exporters in their quest to realize ‘export readiness’,” he advised.

    Mr. Hylton said partnership between exporters and the various divisions of Government is necessary to achieve the goal of export-led growth, and ensuring transformation of the economy.

    “Export-led growth is a critical pillar for integrating Jamaica into the global economy. This is the context for the National Export Strategy, the framework for implementing initiatives to drive exports,” he added.

    The two-day expo, being held under the theme: ‘Outside the Box and Beyond the Label”, aims to provide a forum where local firms will gain awareness of the range of packaging suppliers and material available within Jamaica and the region, through displays.

    The expo will also facilitate information sharing through workshops on packaging standards and trends, as well as consultations between specialists and exporters.