Gov't aims to increase manufacturing sector's output by 3% annually

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Gov't aims to increase manufacturing sector's output by 3% annually

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Government is aiming to increase the contribution of the manufacturing sector to gross domestic product to $81 billion over the next five years, up from $66 billion in 2018.

This disclosure was made by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF), Leslie Campbell, during the tabling of the National Five Year Manufacturing Growth Strategy 2020-2025 for Jamaica in the House yesterday.

“The overarching objectives of the manufacturing strategy are to improve the business environment necessary to grow and expand Jamaica's manufacturing sector and increase the sector's contribution to the country's economic development,” said Campbell.

Globally, manufacturing accounts for approximately 16 per cent of GDP, while in Jamaica the sector has accounted for approximately 8.5 per cent of GDP over the past five years and contributes some 6.5 per cent of employment.

The strategy was developed by MICAF, the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, and Jamaica Promotions Corporation, and is aimed at increasing jobs as well as foreign and local direct investment in the manufacturing industry.

Other expected outcomes include increased ability for local manufacturers to supply products into the domestic market thereby reducing the level of the country's imports, and increased export sales of manufactured goods thereby increasing the level of foreign exchange earnings for the country.

The strategy will focus on agro-processing, light manufacturing, including furniture, cosmetics and packaging — and pharmaceuticals. The activities will be coordinated by MICAF with support from other ministries, departments and agencies.

Among the key strategies outlined by the minister to grow the sector are enhancing workforce productivity, improving cost competitiveness, expanding infrastructure, facilitation of market expansion, and incorporation of innovation strategies in the sector.

Campbell noted that the strategies developed to grow the sector are complementary to other key initiatives being rolled out by the government as part of the Vision 2030 Development Plan.

He further stated that the private sector will play a significant role in the expansion of the industry with specific responsibilities such as supporting the design and execution of capacity building programmes, development and management of clusters as a model for growth, development and promotion of industry competitiveness and improving market access and penetration.

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