President of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Diane Edwards, says Jamaica’s economy is poised to bounce back from the negative effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and should see growth by 2022.
In a virtual meeting held by JAMPRO, in association with The Business Year (TBY), today (January 20), Ms. Edwards said there are companies looking to diversify their supply and delivery locations, “so we think that Jamaica is poised to bounce back very quickly from the COVID-19 pandemic and we expect to see us returning to a positive growth path, certainly by next year.”
The theme of the meeting was: ‘Paradigm Shift: Opportunities in a new Jamaican economy’.
One of the main reasons for the meeting was to discuss how Jamaica has been quietly stabilising its economy over the past decade, bringing inflation down to five per cent, thanks to new monetary policy and the development of sectors like tourism, agriculture, outsourcing, manufacturing, logistics, and construction, which will create jobs, economic opportunities, and diversify the industry across the country.
“We are extremely optimistic about the future of Jamaica. We think that the position and location of Jamaica, on a direct line from the Panama Canal, gives us a real opportunity to become the primary logistics hub of the Caribbean.
We think we have the private sector recovering confidence, which is really critical. We think in agribusiness outsourcing and manufacturing, the near sure advantage that we have can be leveraged to great success,” the President said.
Ms. Edwards argued that Jamaica has “been able to continue a level of buoyancy in the main industries,” such as agribusiness, digital services, manufacturing and logistics, which she also noted are four real pillars on which Jamaica is building the recovery of its economy.
“We see a huge interest now in agribusiness, and it is very interesting that in our business confidence index, which was just released yesterday (January 19), agribusiness is going to be one of the big sectors of movement for the next few years to come, because food security is now on everybody’s lips,” she said.
“Digital services [as well], because the digitisation of the economy is so critical, and everybody now knows that ecommerce has to play a role in any business and any delivery of service,” she added.
She also noted that manufacturing has seen an uptake, because of new areas of manufacturing, particularly chemicals and cosmetics; however, logistics needs more focus.
“Logistics is really important to us. We have to get our products into the markets that we want to get into and that means movement,” she said.
JAMPRO is an agency of the Government that promotes business opportunities in export and investment to the local and international private sectors.