Minister Samuda urges local manufacturers to look for new products


Minster of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, is urging local manufacturers to take advantage of non-traditional areas, where they can fill the need for goods and services.
Speaking at the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association’s (JMA) 42nd annual awards banquet at the Wyndham New Kingston Hotel on Wednesday (October 27), Mr. Samuda, who was deputising for Prime Minister Bruce Golding, said that despite Jamaica’s economic challenges, the manufacturing sector has “performed remarkably”.
“In all of this international economic meltdown, the sector.has (only) fallen in production by a mere five percent, which is remarkable. It shows the resilience of those who have kept the faith and remained in manufacturing,” the Minister said.
Citing the need to look at improvements in the areas where the sector has performed well, Mr. Samuda said there was also a need to look at new areas, for example in the hospitality and service industries, including the production of linen, table cloths, napkins, drapery and chemicals.
“We cannot continue the way we are..we have to start stepping outside of the box,” he implored.
Regarding importations, specifically for the tourism sector, Mr. Samuda said that his ministry and the tourism ministry have held discussions with manufacturing interests on items which could be removed from the duty free list of imports. He felt that one area “self-sufficient” enough to earn this protection was the production and supply of mattresses.
“So we are going to be communicating formally to the Ministry of Tourism, that the Ministry of Industry (is) recommending that that item be taken off the list, so that there will be no duty-free application. So, if you want mattress outside of Jamaica, you (must) pay the duty,” he advised.
Additionally, Mr. Samuda said his Ministry supported the notion that packaging material is an “essential” part of the finished product, and corrugated cartons used for the purpose should be treated similar to raw materials intended for the local or export market.
Over 20 awards were presented for outstanding performances in manufacturing, exports, and philanthropy during 2009. Spirits distiller, J. Wray and Nephew Limited, captured the Governor-General’s Award for Manufacturer of the Year, while Caribbean Cement Company copped the Prime Minister’s Cup for being the Champion Exporter.
Other awards included: the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce’s Award for Competitiveness to Nicorp Limited; the Robert Lightbourne Skills and Productivity Award to Red Stripe; and Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities Enablement Award to Smith and Stewart Distributors Limited/Crazy Jim.

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