KINGSTON — A programme to enable local exporters to take advantage of market opportunities and increase export earnings was launched at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel, New Kingston yesterday.
‘Export Max: Enterprise Development Programme for Exporters’ will focus on the development of a cluster of export-ready clients, as opposed to the strategy of broad engagement and support for all exporters.
It will be target an initial group of 15 Jamaican exporters and export ready firms within priority sectors under the National Export Strategy (NES), with strong potential but which lack the required resources to take full advantage of the export market. The priority areas are: agro processing; aquaculture; furniture; coffee; fashion; mineral and mining; ICT; entertainment; and education.
Speaking at the launch, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Reginald Budhan, lauded the initiative adding that, at least, 10 per cent of the group will be new exporters.
“The group will include potential and existing exporters, with the capacity to undertake upgrading strategies and to take advantage of export market opportunities,” he said, noting that it encompasses all the components of success.
He said the programme will cost $18.5 million, with the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and the EXIM Bank playing anchor roles.
Vice President, Trade and Business Development, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Delaine Morgan, said the initiative seeks to stimulate enterprise development for export growth.
“It is anticipated that with Export Max, JAMPRO, through the Trade and Business Development Division, will achieve certain gains over the period, the key outcomes being participating companies realizing a 20 per cent increase in export sales after the two year period; and those companies who had never exported before being able to penetrate at least two new markets,” she explained.
She also noted that, under the initiative, local exporters and export ready firms may benefit from a range of business development and export promotion services through JAMPRO.
In order to be eligible for participation in the ‘Export Max’ programme, companies must: be formally registered with the Companies Office of Jamaica, with majority Jamaican ownership; have been in operation for at least six months; have an export ready product; demonstrate the ability to have significant economic impact on employment and export earning; and complete and submit expressions of interest documents, among other things.
Expressions of interest documents are available through JAMPRO's offices in Kingston or Montego Bay, or on the company’s website at http://www.tradeandinvestjamaica.org. The documents are to be submitted by June 27, 2011 at 5 p.m.
The initiative is a partnership between JAMPRO, the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), the EXIM Bank and the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA).
By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter