Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, says one of the main objectives of the Ministry is to encourage the development of world class enterprises, which can drive the country’s competitiveness in global markets.
"At the same time, we are cognisant of the concerns of the business community about frustrating bureaucratic delays encountered in seeking to do business in Jamaica and we want to eliminate those," she emphasised.
The State Minister was speaking at the official launch of Jamaica’s first manufactured sports beverage, Hi-Lyte Sport Drink, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, on May 3.
"We want to make sure that we have the business environment that can create, sustain and be competitive in the world,” Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said, adding that the National Competitiveness Council will play a key role in this process.
The Council, which is chaired by the Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, "will provide a road map for improving the competitiveness of the country and will be our vehicle for promoting collaboration with key public and private sector interests,” she said.
The State Minister welcomed the island’s first manufactured sport drink, by Virginia Dare Jamaica, noting that this is a significant feat within the sector.
"This is a big step forward for manufacturing in Jamaica and a demonstration of our capability to create really great world class products,” she said.
In his remarks, Chairman, Virginia Dare, R. Danny Williams, noted that the “feedback to our sports drink has exceeded all our expectations. Everyone is so proud that a re-hydration drink has been developed in Jamaica for Jamaican sportsmen and sportswomen and can, and will surpass all imported equivalent."
He is encouraging Jamaicans to buy locally produced goods, in an effort to develop and expand employment in the country.
Hi-Lyte Sport Drink is an isotonic drink currently available in three refreshing flavours – melon berry blast, lemon lime zest, and kola champagne sizzle. It is certified by the Scientific Research Council (SRC) and is comparable to all other sport drinks on the market. It is distributed by H.D. Hopwood Ltd. and is available in supermarkets islandwide, retailing for under $100 per bottle.
Virginia Dare is one of the island’s leading flavour houses, manufacturing the finest food flavours, syrups and extracts, and serving a wide range of customers in the food and beverage industries throughout the island and the world.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter