Minister wants private, public sector collaboration

KINGSTON, Jamaica: Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, has suggested a collaborative and coordinated approach by the public and private sectors in Jamaica for the success of the National Export Strategy (NES).

Addressing the opening session of the NES Resource Mobilization Forum, at Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), New Kingston, last week, Samuda said the strategy has touched the nerve of the problems and identified solutions, but needs cohesion and collaboration between the private and public sector to succeed.

He said that this collaborative approach should include identifying methods of taking advantage of the assets which the country boasts, and facilitating the business community, particularly manufacturing, in terms of the things that are needed to export and earn foreign exchange.

“We have not been able to adopt a sufficiently coordinated approach to dealing with the challenges that face us, in getting things done as quickly as possible,” Samuda said.

He said that while an entrepreneur’s primary objective is to make a profit, he will be at a disadvantage if he is engaged in an activity that, because of the bureaucratic system, handicaps him in terms of getting his products to the market as quickly as possible, at the most competitive price and giving him the opportunity to be consistent in quality and to have an output sufficient to produce the quantities that are required.

“If all that it entails is not brought together in a cohesive and coherent manner, by adopting a collaborative approach between both sectors, then the challenges facing us, and the lost opportunities, will continue,” he warned.

He said that NES forms a great hub, around which much can be built, and which can encapsulate the main features to assist the country on a path of growth and success.

He added that the path to this success and growth is a shared responsibility, which requires both sectors to explore all avenues, lock off all escape routes and look at possibilities in a different and contemporary way.

The resource mobilization forum was aimed at raising awareness of NES, as well as to reinforce the need for financial support for the prioritized activities and, ultimately, garner crucial funding from donor agencies and organizations.

NES, which is being implemented by the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA) and Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), is a unified private/public initiative that seeks to maximize the export sector’s contribution to economic and social development. (JIS)


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