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Promote Inclusive Growth And Productivity By Fostering Innovation In The Private Sector



“The main objective is to promote inclusive growth and productivity by fostering innovation in the private sector. The purpose is to jump-start economic growth by building an ecosystem that supports dynamic entrepreneurship and innovation in MSMEs. We are promoting innovation and productivity among established MSMEs with high growth potential; promote sustainable and inclusive growth in scalable start-ups; and creating a sustainable pipeline of entrepreneurs and high-growth potential start-ups. Entrepreneurship and innovation activities that tackle gender and climate issues will be targeted and implemented.”
Finance Minister Nigel Clarke

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Businessuite News24

Jamaica Records Estimated 2.9 Per Cent Six-Month Calendar Year Growth



Jamaica is estimated to have recorded gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.9 per cent for the first six months of 2023, between January and June.

Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wayne Henry, made the disclosure during the agency’s digital press conference on Thursday (August 17).

He informed that the Services Industry grew by 3.5 per cent, while the Goods Producing Industry expanded by one per cent.

“The industries which were estimated to have recorded the largest increases during the first half of the year were Mining and Quarrying, up 137.7 per cent; Hotels and Restaurants, up 18.5 per cent; Other Services, up 11.4 per cent; and Transport, Storage and Communication, up 6.1 per cent,” Dr. Henry said.

He noted that the short-term prospects for the overall economy are positive, based on expected improved performances in the Mining and Quarrying, Hotels and Restaurants, Other Services, and Transport and Storage industries.

Dr. Henry informed that there is also anticipated strengthening in business confidence.

This, he explained, is based on firms’ perception that future business conditions will improve, adding that “this is expected to drive domestic demand”.

The short-term prospects are also based on continued recovery of the global economy, which augurs well for external demand.

This is supported by recent projections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicating a strengthening in global growth for 2023.

Dr. Henry noted, however, that this positive outlook could be significantly impacted by adverse weather conditions, including drought and heavy rainfall; plant downtime, due to relatively aged equipment in major industries, particularly in the manufacturing industry; and slower than expected growth in the economies of Jamaica’s main trading partners.

“Against this background, for July-September 2023, growth in output is anticipated to fall within the range of one per cent to two per cent. This projection is based on expected growth in most industries led by the Services sector, in particular Mining and Quarrying; Hotels and Restaurants; Other Services; and Transport, Storage and Communication,” Dr. Henry said.

He stated that early indicators are positive, as reflected in Hotels and Restaurants – with an increase in preliminary airport arrivals, up 14.7 per cent to 273,376 persons for July 2023, and Electricity and Water Supply – reflecting increased consumption.

“Electricity consumption for the month of July 2023 increased by 10.6 per cent,” Dr. Henry informed.

He noted that the Mining and Quarrying subsector is reflecting increased capacity utilisation relative to the corresponding quarter of 2022, when the JAMALCO refinery operated at reduced capacity as production gradually resumed following the 10-month closure.

For July 2023, alumina production increased by 321.2 per cent, while crude bauxite production declined by 18 per cent.

Meanwhile, for fiscal year 2023/24, projections are that Jamaica will record higher levels of output relative to the performance in 2022/23.

“Consequently, the PIOJ’s projection is for growth in output within the range of one per cent to two per cent for the fiscal year. This projection is based on the expectation that the recovery in industries such as Mining and Quarrying, and the growth momentum for industries such as Hotels and Restaurants and Other Services, will continue,” Dr. Henry said.

Additionally, the current drag on growth from industries such as Agriculture and Construction is expected to dissipate, as these sectors return to positive performances by the end of the fiscal year.

By: , JIS

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Business Events

Jamaica To Reveal New Outsourcing Brand At Upcoming Global Digital Services Conference



Jamaica is set to launch its re-imagined outsourcing proposition to hundreds of entrepreneurs, business leaders and executives from multinational corporations, global startups and trade promotion organisations when the country hosts the upcoming Outsource to Latin America and the Caribbean Global Digital Services Summit (O2LAC) from June 14 -15 in Montego Bay.

Jamaica will be the first English-speaking nation from the Latin America and Caribbean bloc to host this Summit, which will be its ninth edition. O2LAC was created by the Inter-American Development Bank’s Integration and Trade Sector with the goal of unleashing the region’s full potential in the global digital services sector. Business leaders will learn about breakthroughs in emerging technologies such as AI. They will discover advanced capabilities in strategic Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), and Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO), as well as identify new business opportunities through B2B and B2G matchmaking events.

As Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Honourable, Aubyn Hill, explains that “O2LAC presents a prime opportunity for the Government of Jamaica and its partners to introduce Jamaica’s re-energized global digital services sector offerings to the largest gathering of prospective services buyers and suppliers in the region. We have been working hard to enhance and elevate Jamaica’s product offerings and the launch of our new Global Campaign at O2LAC will communicate our unique value proposition, and cement our brand in the minds of executives, entrepreneurs and experts as the superior option for global businesses seeking to upscale their outsourcing goals and growth results”.

Jamaica is already a mature Outsourcing location and home to companies such as Conduent, Itel, Sutherland Global, Sagility, Startek and IBEX. Most of these companies provide services to some of the top Fortune 50 businesses. With over 85 companies currently in operation and annual revenue close to US$1billion, while employing over 60,000 people, the country has the largest Outsourcing Sector in the English-speaking Caribbean. Special Economic Zone incentives allow for duty concessions and reduced corporate income taxes, and continuous investments in telecoms and electricity infrastructure ensure stable power and broadband capabilities that make Jamaica a destination of choice.

The new National Investment Policy includes a raft of economic policies, initiatives and support measures designed to make it easier to establish businesses in the country. The continual efforts of Jamaica’s Global Digital Services Sector (GDSS) Project to enhance training, certification and create new job opportunities within the sector, will re- energize the Jamaican market to welcome a new cadre of Fortune 1,000 companies.

President of Jamaica Promotion Corporation (JAMPRO), Shullette Cox, says, “What we will be discussing at O2LAC will be vital to ensuring that business leaders understand how they can harness the full potential of Jamaica’s expanding global digital services sector. We will specifically demonstrate how Jamaica’s offerings can be tailored to solve any concerns in the global digital services sector. For instance, in the area of skills training, we are continuously enhancing our capabilities. Through the GDSS Project we are creating training, apprenticeship, internship, certification and train-the-trainer programmes. When these are coupled with the GDSS Talent Hub and Career Pathway Framework, we will be able to connect consistently thousands of talented Jamaicans with the specialised training which will enable them to work in the sector. The campaign launch will enable far greater understanding of how best to access and synergise the
very best outsourcing services that Jamaica has to offer.”

O2LAC is expected to attract up to 600 local, regional and international attendees. Event speakers include: Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Honourable, Aubyn Hill; Manager, Integration and Trade Sector, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Fabrizio Opertti; Deputy Director of AI for Good Research Lab, Rahul Dodhia; Head of Global Services for Carrier, Steve Rudderham; President of the Global Services Association of Jamaica, Anand Biradar; and several Latin American business leaders along with other representatives from the IDB.

Fabrizio Opertti, IDB Manager of the Integration and Trade Sector stated, “We believe in Latin America and the Caribbean’s potential as a global service delivery platform, offering unrivaled quality, early technology adoption, and contributions from SMEs, entrepreneurs, and startups. Outsource2LAC is instrumental in consolidating our regions position as major player in global digital services exports”;. The Global Digital Services Sector is projected to grow to US$1 Trillion by 2025 with business outsourcing in Latin America and the Caribbean accounting for over $10 billion in regional revenues and investment. As the country named the Best Caribbean Nation for Doing Business by Forbes (2019), Jamaica is aiming to build on its impressive performance in the industry to catapult its way to being the premier Outsourcing destination in Latin America and the Caribbean.

For more information about O2LAC and to review the agenda, please visit

Inicio mayo 23

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Businessuite News24

Jamaican MSMEs Benefit from $13 Billion in Gov’t Funding Support



A total of $13 billion in affordable loans and credit guarantees were provided for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) by the Government during fiscal year 2022/23.

This was disclosed by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, during the University of Technology (UTech) Jamaica’s 41st annual marketing seminar at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, on Wednesday (April 5).

The provision formed part of Government’s efforts to improve MSMEs’ access to financing.

Senator Hill said the Ministry, through the National Export-Import (EXIM) Bank, provided special soft loans at an interest rate of 4.75 per cent for eligible MSMEs.

He indicated that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were able to access up to $25 million, and micro businesses a maximum of $5 million, for up to five years.

“Short and medium-term loans have been disbursed to MSMEs in a range of sectors. That $13 billion involves guarantees, including DBJ (Development Bank of Jamaica) not just the EXIM Bank. These efforts serve to stimulate growth and develop unfunded MSMEs, particularly where there is great potential for value-added products which are poised for export,” the Minister said.

Senator Hill assured that the Ministry will continue to extend tangible support to the MSME sector.

“The Ministry is also mindful of how it needs to lead MSMEs. The rebranding exercise on which we embark is a demonstration to others that there is need for [the] assessment of strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities and threats,” he emphasised.

Meanwhile, Senator Hill said greater focus must be placed on exports to reduce Jamaica’s trade gap.

Citing 2021 data, the Minister said Jamaica imported products and services valued at US$5.975 billion, as against exports valued at US$1.441 billion, pointing out that “the negative balance is US$4.5 billion”.

Senator Hill emphasised that more goods and services need to be exported in order to begin closing the deficit.

He challenged fledgling marketers attending the conference to develop a jingle that promotes exports and, by extension, Brand Jamaica.

“When you do that and you bring it in, I will make sure that we fold our brand around it and make sure it works,” the Minister said.

Senator Hill maintained that Jamaicans should also continue to create products and services that will make the country competitive and successful in overseas markets.

Meanwhile, he urged the marketers to consistently aim for excellence and to do so to the best of their ability.

“Anytime you are doing anything, including running a business, you must think about everything, and everything you put your hand to and your mind, must be excellence,” Senator Hill added.

Seminar Day Programme Lead, Alanis Blake, explained that the session aimed to bring together stakeholders to discuss relevant topics and issues within the global environment and its relation to marketing.

The seminar was held under the theme ‘Branding Matters: Marketing Strategies Meaningful Engagements’.

The UTech Jamaica Marketing Seminar is the longest running student-led academic conference in the Caribbean.

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Businessuite News24

Factories Corporation to Invest JA$872 Million in Capital Projects



The Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ) plans to undertake capital investment projects valued at $871.71 million for the 2023/24 fiscal year.

This is outlined in the 2023/24 Public Bodies Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, tabled in the House of Representatives by Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, recently.

Under the programme, work will be undertaken on Garmex Free Zone Phase 2, with the construction of three buildings totalling 96,000 square feet of space to include two warehouses, commercial building, and a guardhouse.

Plans are also in place to commence the development of Garmex Free Zone Phase 3, which will comprise the construction of four warehouse-type buildings on 5.7 acres of land.

The FCJ is also seeking to upgrade and improve other facilities to make them more attractive and supportive of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector.

Meanwhile, the Morant Bay Urban Development Centre, which is being implemented via a joint-venture agreement, will remain a key developmental project during the year.

The document noted that construction is now under way, and the project will be phased over the next two years.

The FCJ was incorporated under the Companies Act of Jamaica in 1987 and is wholly owned by the Government of Jamaica.

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Black Castor Oil – Liquid Gold Untapped In Jamaica



Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. (right), is shown a bottle of black castor oil by Jovaughn Bailey of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, during the Jamaica Bauxite Institute’s (JBI) Castor Industry Forum, dubbed ‘Black Castor Oil – Liquid Gold Untapped’, at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville, Manchester, on March 15.

Farmers and other stakeholders are being encouraged to collaborate to explore the full potential of the local castor bean.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, who made the call, said there is an opportunity to tap into the high demand for Jamaican Black Castor Oil, noting that the global market for the product is valued at up to US$100 million.

“This is a truly Jamaican product that must carry brand Jamaica in every way; and I suggest that a committee be established, comprising the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI), Jamaica 4-H Clubs, the Scientific Research Council (SRC), the processors, farmers, JAMALCO, Jamaica Baptist Union (JBU), and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), under the chairmanship of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA),” Mr. Hutchinson said.

He was speaking at the JBI’s Castor Industry Forum, dubbed: ‘Black Castor Oil – Liquid Gold Untapped’, at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville, Manchester, on March 15.

Mr. Hutchinson said, to realise the potential of the local castor bean, Jamaica needs to have a structured programme which ensures that processors have consistency of supply.

Currently, the product, which has gained popularity worldwide, is not a major farm crop in the island.

“This is too much of an important [product] for it to be faltering by the wayside. I feel strongly about it; so, let us, together, make it work,” Mr. Hutchinson said.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., in his remarks, cited the need for training, organisation and planning to maximise opportunities in the industry.

“Across the world, you are looking at US$75 million to US$100 million [worth] of opportunity in this liquid gold; so, we have a massive global opportunity. There is more than enough reason to move to develop the local castor industry,” he said.

“Now, more than ever, when we push for ‘Grow Smart, Eat Smart’, we are saying to Jamaica, it is essential to understand the sector and to utilise every inch of land, refine the processing and utilise the research and development to maintain our standards,” the Minister added.

Mr. Charles urged farmers to ensure they understand and look closely at the science, the different types of seeds, and how they will fare in different parts of the island, before planting.

Currently, a study is being done on the Jamaica black castor bean at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona, under the leadership of Director of the Mona Institute of Applied Science, Dr. Howard Reid.

This is being undertaken through a grant facilitated by the JBU and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Upon conclusion, the findings will guide the process of securing the intellectual property rights of the Jamaica Black Castor Oil for the country.

For many years, several companies globally have been producing their own oil, but falsely labelling it ‘Jamaican’.

President of the Jamaica Castor Industry Association (JCIA), Courtney Haughton, said most of the products being marketed as Jamaican Black Castor Oil are fake.

“The only way we can claw back what is ours is if we secure our intellectual property rights. The process includes [the] research now underway at the Mona Institute of Applied Science,” he noted.

Other engagements include standardisation of the product with assistance from the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), and producers’ compliance in meeting product standard acceptance in the global market.

Registration at the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) will be the next step, and initial dialogue has begun.

“Our next objective is to protect market integrity, because we will need strategic alliances with people who have the capacity to seek out those in violation of our rights and protect us through legal action,” Mr. Haughton said.

The association has also forged partnerships with the National Council on Technical Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) and the JBU, to develop a curriculum for training and certification of industry participants.

Already, there is a Level One Module for planting, reaping and storage of castor beans, which has been ratified by the NCTVET Board.

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