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Chairman of Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), Raymond Miles, Jnr., has called on stakeholders in the business sector to be proactive and exercise prudence in order to negotiate the current global economic downturn.
“In these difficult times of… restrictions… we have to be proactive and prudent in our business strategies, and that will help our respective sectors to not only survive, but plan for the future,” Mr. Miles stated, as he addressed the official opening of JTI’s Export Centre and Business Information Point (EC/BIP) at the agency’s New Kingston offices on Tuesday (Dec. 16).
“It is in these tough times that we must collaborate, come together as a business community to benefit from our existing facilitation systems and processes such as the National Export Strategy, in order to achieve levels of productivity and profitability, which will eventually grow our business and our economy,” the JTI Chairman contended further.
He said that the JTI possesses the requisite track record, skills, and know-how to provide world-class facilitation support and services to the local business sector. “The President (Robert Gregory) and his experienced executive team are prepared to lead our staff of highly qualified and committed individuals to achieve this objective, and, ultimately, be the one-stop-shop for export and investment facilitation in Jamaica,” he assured.
Alluding to JTI’s receipt of the World Trade Promotion Organisation (WTPO) 2008 award for Best Trade Promotion Organisation from a Small Country, Mr. Miles said this is testament that the agency’s systems and procedures are “more than acceptable,” when benchmarked against similar entities around the world. He said that the JTI is committed to capturing the award again and continuously enhancing and improving services to clients.
The chairman also challenged the staff to redouble their efforts to become excellent business facilitators, while noting the agency’s commitment to attracting increased levels of foreign direct investments, and facilitating a business environment, which “creates” local investors and entrepreneurs in “exponential numbers” and, in the process, “ramp up” local direct investments.
“Ultimately, it is about deepening the absorptive capacity of our economy, attracting high quality jobs and wealth-creating investments, enhancing the nation’s competitiveness, facilitating highly differentiated high value, and to volume Brand Jamaican exports to the world,” Mr. Miles outlined.
The Export Centre and Business Information Point (EC/BIP) are two major components of the Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP), which is a €26.17 million five-year project jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica and the European Union.
The project is designed to provide integrated, comprehensive, and coherent responses to the various challenges impacting the local private sector.
The export centre aims to positively impact national export performance and competitiveness through the provision of a range of export-related advisory services and developmental tools. The business information points are virtual and physical offices established islandwide to provide micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with access to a range of standardised and value-added business information that will empower entrepreneurs and firms to increase their performance and profitability.
Mr. Miles said the designation of the JTI’s head office as an EC/BIP is an important step towards the agency’s commitment to providing value-added services to all of their producers and exporters, in order to facilitate robust growth and sustainable development of Jamaica’s economy.