New trade for Jamaican companies in Caribbean markets

Friday, December 08, 2017

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Caribbean markets previously dominated by suppliers from the US and China recently received goods from an additional two Jamaican companies, according to latest data from the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro).

The countries — Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Barbados — received shipments from the local companies during the promotions company's three-year programme, Export Max II. The programme is focused on building the capacity and market penetration of a group of 19 Jamaican exporting and export-ready firms.

Jampro, however, would not divulge the names of the two Jamaican companies.

Export Max II produced average growth of 213.4 per cent in export sales, moving from $536.6 million from the start of the programme in 2011 to $1.7 billion.

According to Jampro, the increase in exports also contributed to an additional 173 new jobs created, moving from 1356 in 2011 to 1,529 jobs as at the end of September.

The promotions agency said all 19 local companies have acquired at least one new export market — a total of 52 new markets accessed by the participants since the start of the programme.

New markets spanned the United Kingdom, Canada and a number of markets across the US and the Caribbean, five or more of which were tapped by at least 27 per cent of the companies.

As part of the key targets of the programme, the local companies participated in business development coaching, productivity audits, trade missions and exhibitions, and received mentorship from business professionals.

In fact, Jampro noted that some enterprises have since improved in quality standards and have improved packaging and labelling to appeal to international markets.

Jampro President Diane Edwards lauded the programme, saying that the intense three-year initiative gave exporters the opportunity to access training and services on a one-to-one basis and access new markets, as well as improve the companies' productivity, one of the critical issues affecting the country's manufacturing sector.

“We have seen the growth of these companies over three years and we are proud of their success in exporting, which Jampro is keen on improving, to boost the economy. With the support of our sponsors and partners, we were able to support a cadre of companies that are focused on bringing Brand Jamaica to the world. I look forward to seeing them continue to expand their reach internationally, and support other companies who are looking to enter the export market,” Edwards said.

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