JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica’s top manufacturers have given the country high ratings as a manufacturing investment destination and have agreed that the Logistics Hub will boost the sector.
  • President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Brian Pengelley; Chairman of LASCO Manufacturing Limited, Lascelles Chin and Vice President, Marketing and International Business, ARC Manufacturing, Deanall Barnes, are of the same view that in spite of the challenging global economic conditions impacting the local economy, Jamaica still offers good prospects for business success in the manufacturing sector.
  • The session, which was held under the theme: ‘Enhancing Jamaica’s Manufacturing Value Chain’, attracted participants from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Central and South America.

Jamaica’s top manufacturers have given the country high ratings as a manufacturing investment destination and have agreed that the Logistics Hub will boost the sector.

President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Brian Pengelley; Chairman of LASCO Manufacturing Limited, Lascelles Chin and Vice President, Marketing and International Business, ARC Manufacturing, Deanall Barnes, are of the same view that in spite of the challenging global economic conditions impacting the local economy, Jamaica still offers good prospects for business success in the manufacturing sector.

The business leaders were presenters on the final day of the 2015 Jamaica Investment Forum at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James recently.

The session, which was held under the theme: ‘Enhancing Jamaica’s Manufacturing Value Chain’, attracted participants from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Central and South America.

Mr. Pengelley said Jamaica’s diverse manufacturing landscape is positioned for growth, which is due largely to the partnership between the Government and the private sector.

He said the JMA is pleased with the legislative progress being made and incentives offered to the sector by the Government over the past year. These, Mr. Pengelley noted, are facilitating the sector’s efforts to retool and rebound.

Mr. Chin, in his presentation, said that improvements in Jamaica’s ratings on the international financial indices, as well as investors’ confidence locally, are improving Jamaica’s credibility as a safe place for investments.

“The success from our investments in manufacturing distribution and financial services give me the confidence to say to you, ‘Let’s do business.’ You may ask why should you invest in the manufacturing or any other sector in Jamaica. I can speak confidently from my over 50 years experience that Jamaica has established the regulatory and support framework for doing business…..The country has learnt from its experiences,” Mr. Chin emphasised.

Meanwhile, Mr. Barnes said “(Jamaica is) moving in the right direction,” as there have been changes in the areas of crime, interest rates, access to capital and affordable labour.

He also cited the 2014 statistics indicating a decline in interest rates as well as the upward trending of labour market stability and access to reasonably priced funds.

For his part, Chairman of the Logistics Task Force, Dr. Eric Deans, told potential investors that the Logistics Hub Initiative would boost the potential of the manufacturing sector.

“What the Logistics Hub Initiative offers is that it encourages both local and foreign (manufacturers) to get engaged in global supply chains to serve not only the Jamaican market, but to serve an 800 million-person market in the Americas,” Dr. Deans said.

He informed that the Logistics Hub offers manufacturers new opportunities of “moving up the value chain instead of focussing on primary distribution, or very basic additions or assembly.”

“The businesses will be located within the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) where we’ll create the incentives, we’ll create the right environment which is fully conducive to business, while we work on the broader incentives throughout the rest of the economy,” Dr. Deans said.