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Local exporters will be further enabled to take advantage of market opportunities and increase their export earnings with an expansion of the ‘Export Max: Enterprise Development Programme’.

A sum of $54.9 million has been set aside for Phase II of the project, which will provide technical assistance to an additional 10 companies.

Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, made the disclosure at a Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA) members’ luncheon, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on May 9.

Mr. Hylton informed that the initiative, which was launched in 2011, was developed by the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) to focus on the development of a cluster of export-ready clients.

“(Phase I) of the programme enabled a group of 15 exporters to take advantage of market opportunities and increase their export earnings,” he pointed out.

The priority industries include: agro processing; aquaculture; furniture; coffee; fashion; mineral and mining; ICT; entertainment; and education.

According to the Minister, the expansion of ‘Export Max’ is among a number initiatives being pursued by the Ministry, and in particular JAMPRO, to advance the National Export Strategy (NES).

Another such programme is the FINPYME Export Plus Programme, which was launched in October 2012.

It is co-ordinated by JAMPRO in collaboration with the JEA and the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association, with funding support of some US$150,000 from the Inter-American Investment Corporation and the Inter-American Development Bank.

To date, some 78 small and medium sized enterprises have registered to participate in the programme, which aims to build the export readiness and capacity of SMEs; improve market access for SMEs; and increase performance and exports of SMEs.

Minister Hylton further informed that FINPYME recently approved 15 technical assistance programmes with over 30 modules, ranging from market access for agro processing in various markets and operational efficiency and cost cutting measures, to certification for agro products.

“I invite those of you who have not yet registered, to do so soon, as the benefits are invaluable,” he stated.

Jamaica is among a select number of countries in which the FINPYME Export Plus programme has been executed, and is the only country in which all six FINPYME initiatives have been implemented.

Jamaica’s National Export Strategy is a unified strategic initiative that seeks to maximise the export sector’s direct contribution to economic and social development.

The vision of the NES is to make Jamaica the place of choice for creative, innovative goods and services of exceptional quality.

Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker