Jampro, Jamaica’s export promotions agency, is projecting that growth of the manufacturing sector in the island will become the basis of the country’s economic recovery in the medium term.
The agency disclosed recently that it will be rolling out a National Five-Year Manufacturing Growth Strategy and accompanying government reforms to improve the ease of doing business, which are, combined, expected to promote growth of manufacturing and strengthen performance.
In a release on initiatives falling under its manufacturing push, Jampro commented on the accelerated development of industries such as chemicals and cosmetics in response to pandemic conditions. Jampro noted that “Manufacturers have seized new opportunities to export to markets that have experienced disruptions in their supply chains. This has led to increased production of items like cleaning chemicals, sanitisers, masks, and OTC pharmaceuticals to meet local and international demand.”
The agency said that it expected this manufacturing expansion to contribute significantly to its economic recovery effort in the next five years, supporting the island’s goal to be a manufacturing leader in the region. Jamaica is strategically located near to easily access key markets like the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Caricom, and Latin America, it was noted, with “one of the most diverse manufacturing sectors in the Caribbean, ranging from large food-based manufacturing giants such as GraceKennedy Limited and Jamaica Producers Group, to a burgeoning “clean beauty” industry with companies like Ettenio and Irie Rock manufacturing hair and skin care for local and international consumers.”
Meanwhile, it was noted that the manufacturing of medical devices, electronics, building materials, and product fitting and assembly are also in production. Jampro stated that contract manufacturing is also an emerging area, “as companies seek to use the island as their manufacturing and export base.”
Notably, Jamaica benefits from preferential market access to several regions through trade agreements, further strengthening its position as an ideal contract manufacturing location, the agency outlined. Support measures for the manufacturing sector include engaging manufacturers and investors to produce more value-added goods.
Jampro has ongoing initiatives that deliver business-matchmaking services, and facilitates the packaging and promotion of investment projects. In collaboration with the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association Limited (JMEA), Jampro indicates that it also provides education around incentives, the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) framework, and regional and global trade agreements favourable for products manufactured in Jamaica.