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    • The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (JMEA) will be pushing to capitalise on business opportunities that are available in the international market, says the entity’s President, Metry Seaga.
    • “We are surrounded by an abundance of opportunities for Jamaican exports,” he said.
    • “The United Kingdom’s (UK) import market grew by one per cent in 2017, which amounted to US$4.9 billion, while Jamaica’s total value of exports for the same year was US$1.3 billion. If we could tap into just a small portion of that one per cent, it could lead to a meteoric rise in our export value,” he argued.

    The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (JMEA) will be pushing to capitalise on business opportunities that are available in the international market, says the entity’s President, Metry Seaga.

    “We are surrounded by an abundance of opportunities for Jamaican exports,” he said.

    “The United Kingdom’s (UK) import market grew by one per cent in 2017, which amounted to US$4.9 billion, while Jamaica’s total value of exports for the same year was US$1.3 billion. If we could tap into just a small portion of that one per cent, it could lead to a meteoric rise in our export value,” he argued.

    Mr. Seaga, who was speaking at the launch of the second staging of the Jamaica International Exhibition (JIE) at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Rose Hall, St. James, on January 22, further cited Haiti as a “huge untapped market”.

    He noted that Haiti is one of Jamaica’s closest neighbours and one of the largest Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries in terms of population size.

    “The total value of goods imported by Haiti is approximately US$2 billion, of which Jamaican exports only accounted for 0.7 per cent of that amount.

    “Haiti has committed to implementing the necessary procedures, which would allow them to become a member of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) by October of this year. This is a market that our exporters should also pursue,” he pointed out.

    Mr. Seaga said that expansion of exports is integral to Jamaica’s quest for sustainable growth and development, and the private sector has a critical role to play in this regard.

    “We have to put a forward-thinking export development plan at the forefront where it belongs.

    “We must be aggressive and continue to break down barriers. We must knock on doors and not be afraid to explore the endless opportunities. Yes, we are on the right path to increasing export-led growth, but there is still a lot of work that needs to get done,” Mr. Seaga said.

    Meanwhile, the JMEA President said that the JIE trade show, to be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre from May 30 to June 1, “will redefine the meaning of the term, brand Jamaica”.

    The three-day event is expected to attract scores of participants from the Caribbean, China, the UK and other parts of Europe, North and South America and Canada.

    It will provide opportunity for local businesses to promote their goods and services to an international audience and facilitate business interaction between local manufacturers and overseas buyers.

    “The JIE will be the platform where we stamp our mark as the place of choice to do business in the Caribbean and expand our reach to the rest of the world,” Mr. Seaga said.