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Minister Shaw charges JAMPRO Board of Directors to fast-track diversified investment to drive economic recovery from COVID-19

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March 2021

Above Body

 30 Mar 2021    communications   

The Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the Hon. Audley Shaw, recently met with the new board of directors of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), to communicate his priorities for the organisation to drive the overall national COVID-19 recovery agenda.
“JAMPRO is called to be even more strategic, creative…and agile,” Minister Shaw said, adding that the agency’s aim “should be to achieve even faster turnaround time in the thrust to increase Jamaica’s economic growth and take advantage of every new opportunity. Keen interest must be paid to the fortification and development of new industries both in the agri-business and manufacturing sectors. These include industries such as cannabis, hemp, bamboo, furniture and craft,” Minister Shaw said, adding that these areas are outlined in the National five-year Manufacturing Strategy, passed in Parliament last August.
The minister called on the board to fast-track the National Business Environment Reform Agenda (BERA), being advanced through the National Competitiveness Council (NCC); to accelerate key trade facilitation reforms, to support the rapid expansion and roll-out of initiatives geared toward automation and digitization as well as initiatives under the National Sourcing Policy, the Manufacturing Strategy and the Digital Global Services Strategy.
“I look forward to significant advancement or finalization of these as well as the implementation of attendant activities and attainment of tangible results in the
coming year,” Minister Shaw said, adding that the board will have the full support of the ministry as well as himself and State Minister Dr. Norman Dunn in this regard.
For his part, State Minister Dunn reiterated the need for MSMEs to leapfrog into the digital space noting the pandemic has given rise to the need for entrepreneurs “to look to be identifying unicorn opportunities rather than via the old ways of brick and mortar.”
“The pandemic requires us to look at the existing and emerging opportunities to see how Jamaica can increase its presence in the global marketplace,” Minister Dunn said. The State Minister further urged the board to work closely with local business interests to increase investments in key sectors as we seek to further strengthen the economy in recovering faster and stronger to achieve increased self-resilience, food security and exports.
In accepting the Ministers’ charge, Chairman of the JAMPRO board and Chairman of the National Investment Policy Committee, Senator Don Wehby spoke to the progress made on advancing the National Investment Policy (NIP), which, for the first time, will ensure a clear, coordinated and transparent Government policy on local and foreign investment. “The board pledges to guide JAMPRO towards further improvements in the business environment and stimulating greater and more diversified investment by the local business sector, which has the resources and entrepreneurial zeal to drive transformation of the economy”, he said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required JAMPRO to strategically pivot their investment & trade focus towards key resilient growth sectors to drive the economic recovery. In underscoring the sectors to receive increased focus, namely, Agribusiness, Global Digital Services and Manufacturing, the JAMPRO Chairman took the opportunity to also highlight all eight (8) of the strategic goals for 2024:
1. National 5-Year Agribusiness Strategy; implemented via Food Security & Agribusiness Council.
2. Business Environment Reform Agenda (BERA); implemented via the National Competitiveness Council.
3. National Investment Policy (NIP); implemented via the NIP Implementation Committee.
4. National Business Portal; to become operational.
5. Export Max III; to be executed successfully.
6. National 5-Year Manufacturing Strategy; implemented via Manufacturing and Export Growth Team.
7. Execution of Global Services Sector (GSS) Project & implementation of the Digital Global Services Sector Strategy via GSS Project.
8. National Sourcing Policy; developed and implemented.
Newly appointed Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Sancia Bennett Templer, a former JAMPRO President, echoed the charge of the ministers to JAMPRO, adding that the ministry stands ready to use its influence to accelerate business approvals and the passage of new policies aimed at transforming the business environment.
The members of the JAMPRO board are:
 Senator Don Wehby – Chairman
 Mr. Metry Seaga – Vice Chairman
 Ms. Jo-Anne Archibald
 Ms. Rochelle Cameron
 Mr. Yoni Epstein
 Mr. Zachary Harding
 Ms. Laura Heron
 Mr. Ian Levy
 Ms. Mina Robertson
 Mr. Delano Seivewright
 Ms. Lisa Soares-Lewis
 Mrs. Jacqueline Stewart-Lechler
 Ms. Rita Symes-Hylton
 Mr. Garth Walker
 Mr. Christopher Williams

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