JIS News

The Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI) New Kingston office was on Tuesday (Dec.16) officially designated an Export Centre/Business Information Point (EC/BIP) facility.
The move is part 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. Under the project, export centres and business information points are being set up across the island to provide integrated, comprehensive, and coherent responses to the various challenges impacting the local private sector.
The export centres aim 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.
The JTI’s centre and business point brings to nine, the number of facilities established across the island thus far by the three co-implementing partners -Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA), and JTI.
Speaking at the launch, JTI President, Robert Gregory, said that over the years, the agency has facilitated a range of multi-sectoral initiatives and has given yeoman service to the investment and business community.
He pointed out that, as an export centre, JTI provides information-based services to the Jamaican exporting community, pertaining to areas such as registration, duties and taxes, licensing procedures, and product code. Additionally, he said, they offer export business development services such as export readiness checklists, and access to incentives, as well as on-line services.
“JTI is the focal point in Jamaica for World Trade Point Federation. We also administer an exporter access monitoring network, and we are a World Trade Organisation reference centre,” he advised.
As a business information point, Mr. Gregory said, JTI provides information to entrepreneurs and investors on the requirements for starting a business, including taxation issues and sources of financial assistance; trade statistics; opportunities for business and investments; as well as links to the agency’s public access information points and some of their partners, such as the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), JBDC, and JEA.
Chairman of JTI, Raymond Miles, Jnr., who also spoke, said the branding of the agency as an EC/BIP will, overtime, result in it being a highly functional space for the Jamaican exporter, by providing interactive multi-media tools with which businesses and individuals can access cutting edge, real time information on how to become export ready, thereby accessing global markets, ultimately.
“What we are saying to the business community… is that we are ramping up our services to ensure that we are providing our manufacturers and exporters with the very latest in market information and industry best practices, in order to become more competitive,” Mr. Miles stated.
Also speaking at the launch, Programme Manager for the PSDP, Wynette Anderson, noted that under the EC/BIP initiative, satellite centres have been opened up across the island, thereby facilitating the provision of services to more stakeholders in the business sector. Current locations, she informed, include the Companies Office of Jamaica, Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) offices, and some credit unions, adding that “this will augur well for the sustainability of the initiative.”
“Both JTI and PSDP share a common objective of driving business competitiveness, thus providing a framework for growth of the Jamaican private sector. This initiative will shortly be supported by a strong technology-based platform, that can be accessed by all agencies within the network, and facilitate the exporter access monitoring network, exporter registration, and other JTI e-services,” Mrs. Anderson said.
The PSDP executive said that as Jamaica positions itself to work through the global economic challenges, the EC/BIPs are expected to play an important and significant role in how business is conducted.