JEA Placing Focus on Branding as Part of National Export Strategy


The Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA) will be emphasising branding, as an important plank of the National Export Strategy (NES), in seeking to build the country’s export sector.
President of the JEA, Michael Lumsden, gave this indication at a seminar on building brand Jamaica in the international market, which was hosted on June 17 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
“We tend to use the term ‘Brand Jamaica’ very loosely and in different contexts. What the export strategy seeks to do is to pull together the national brand under a coherent system where we look at how to create synergy between the powerful elements of our national brand,” he said.
Mr. Lumsden added that in addition to traditional areas such as tourism and culture, consideration should also be given to Jamaica as a social brand. He disclosed that Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI) has brought on board a branding specialist to co-ordinate these branding elements, and develop a communication strategy to support brand Jamaica.
The National Export Strategy aims to advance the competitiveness of Jamaican firms and sectors, while enhancing the business and trading environment, in order to improve overall export performance.
“As such, the vision of the NES is to make Jamaica a leading per capita export country known particularly for our commitment to creativity, innovation and exceptional quality. With the world facing its worst economic crisis in decades, the Association believes it’s critical at this time for Jamaica to strategically position herself to identify and maximise the opportunities for growing our non-traditional export sector and to assist our exporters to equip themselves to successfully compete in the global market,” Mr. Lumsden told the gathering.
He expressed confidence that the strategy will provide an important vehicle to enable exporters to successfully penetrate the market and help to build the Jamaican brand in the international marketplace.
The NES was developed by JTI, the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, and the International Trade Centre (Geneva, Switzerland), along with private and public sector stakeholders. It will focus on eight priority sectors: agriculture; agro-processing; acqua-culture; beverages; coffee; manufacturing; mining and minerals; fashion, jewellery and accessories; and services, inclusive of education, entertainment, and information communication technology.
Importantly, Mr. Lumsden noted, a companion strategy was developed for agriculture in the form of the African, Caribbean and Pacific agriculture sub-sector strategy, which is being led by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The seminar covered topics such as: understanding the export market and identifying your target segment; developing and implementing strategies to successfully compete; and protecting the intellectual property of your brand.
June is being observed as national exporters month under the theme: ‘Building Jamaica’s Export Sector Through the National Export Strategy’. A number of activities are taking place to mark the month, including a workshop set for June 18 in Portland, on identifying exporting opportunities.
Another in Clarendon on Tuesday, June 23, will look at building partnerships in exporting. This will be followed by an awards reception in Kingston, on Thursday, June 25.

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