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Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Harold Davis, says the creative industry is perhaps Jamaica’s greatest opportunity for continued and sustained international competitiveness.

“Indeed, our indigenous and endogenous products and services inspired from these products and facilities, form the basis of what we think is sustainable competitiveness for us as a country,” he said.

Mr. Davis was speaking at a signing ceremony on Thursday (January 17), where two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA); and the BSJ and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) at the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, in Kingston.

Through the MoUs, the BSJ has partnered with the two entities to assist them with implementing standards and quality systems within their organisations.

Mr. Davis said the JBDC has over the years, promoted the development and the promulgation of the creative industry.

Speaking on the importance of the sector last year, State Minister for Industry, Investment, and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, underscored the value of the creative industry to national growth and development.

She noted that the sector contributed some $29 billion or 4.8 per cent of Jamaica’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2005, employing over 32,000 persons.

“The process, through which new ideas are generated and successfully introduced in the marketplace, is a primary driver of economic growth and national competitiveness and we must continue to create a framework that encourages new ideas and protect the rights of all Jamaicans. The creative works remain a viable resource that need to be given more protection to sustain our economies and societies,” she stated.

The industry encompasses music, craft, cuisine, fashion, fine arts, publishing, film and video, advertising, architecture and a host of other creative goods and services.

Globally, the creative industry is estimated to account for more than seven per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the sector is forecast to grow at a rate of 10 per cent annually.