Earnings from exports of manufactured goods increased by 14.3 per cent in 2011, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, has said.
He said that the total value of exports from the sector was US $739.2 million, increasing from US$ $646.7 million in 2010.
The Minister, who made the disclosure at a planning workshop held on Friday (July 6), at the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) Oxford Road offices, said the increase is reflected in higher earnings from both traditional and non-traditional manufactured exports.
Traditional manufactured exports increased from $97.4 million in 2010, to $114.2 million in 2011, while non-traditional manufactured exports valued $625.0 million last year, some 14.2 per cent higher than in 2010.
The National Development Plan Summary Progress Report 2009-2012 for the manufacturing sector, reveals that despite a relative decline since the 1990s, manufacturing remains the largest contributor to gross domestic product (GDP) among the goods producing industries in the Jamaican economy.
The report reveals that the manufacturing subsectors, which have shown growth in recent years, include the non-metallic mineral products, food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, paper and paper products, printing and publishing, petroleum refining, chemicals, chemical products, rubber and plastic products.
In terms of production, the Minister stated that real value-added for the industry grew by an estimated 1.4 per cent for 2011. This was due to higher value-added for food, beverage and tobacco; and other manufacturing components, with increases of 2.6 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively.
He explained that the average employment in the manufacturing industry also increased marginally in 2011, consistent with higher production levels. Average employment was 74,800 persons, compared with 74, 225 persons in 2010. The share of employment in the manufacturing industry to the total labour force was 6.8 per cent, similar to that of 2010.
The workshop, organised by the PIOJ in collaboration with the Ministry, had, as its objectives, identifying and agreeing on priority issues affecting the industry and the actions to be taken to address those issues over the next three years.
By Andrea Braham, JIS Reporter