Jamaica National Export Strategy

Diversifying the Jamaican Economy

Project: National Export Strategy – Jamaica

Client: Commonwealth Secretariat

Beneficiary: The Government of Jamaica

Duration: 6 months

The challenge

The Jamaican economy is the second largest in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) trading bloc and is highly open. Jamaica is considered a trading nation with good prospects to increase exports. However, the country was under-performing, resulting in a widening trade deficit. In addition, Jamaica was heavily dependent on services trade (mainly tourism), which accounted for nearly 65% Gross Domestic Product (2013 est.). In addition, Jamaica’s trade was too focused on two main partners North America and the EU, which together accounted for nearly 80% of the country’s exports. Jamaica needed to diversify its export sector and its markets. A National Export Strategy was needed.

Activities:

  • Carried out extensive stakeholder consultations among a wide cross-section of stakeholders in both the public and private sectors. Over 100 stakeholders were met in one-on-one meetings, focus group sessions and workshops.
  • Delivered a two-day, highly-interactive and participatory strategic planning workshop to identify the core issues and work together to develop solutions
  • Carried out a sector prioritisation exercise to determine which sectors to focus and which challenges to target
  • Conducted market assessment and carried out global trends analysis to identify any gaps and pin point opportunities for Jamaica to take advantage of global value chains
  • a great deal of research on the export markets, consumer trends, trade agreements, entry requirements, niche markets and strategic opportunities were carried out as well as the logistics hub initiative and the green economy opportunities.

results

195 Strategic Initiatives at US $25 Million

The Jamaica National Export Strategy consisted of 195 strategic initiatives with a budget of over US $25 Million covering 5 priority sectors, 5 cross-cutting areas and to be implemented by 35 agencies.

5 Priority Sectors were Identified

1. film and animation,
2. agri-processing and nutraceuticals,
3. light manufacturing,
4. mining, and
5. creative industries.

6 Priority Cross-Cutting Issues Were Identified

1. Export Financing
2. Logistics and Trade Facilitation
3. Market Access and Trade Information
4. Standards and Quality
5. Packaging and Labelling
6. Training & Capacity Building

Effective Stakeholder Engagement

At the two-day validation workshop held, 96% of participants indicated that the workshop achieved its objectives and 98% said that it met their expectations.

Branding is Everything

Leve Global emphasised the importance of country branding and the more effective use and monetisation of its Geographic Indicator.

Move Up the Value Chain

Recommendations to remove bottlenecks and take advantage of opportunities to move up the value chain were developed such as focus on technology and ecommerce and the creation of high-yield opportunities.

Strong Linkages

Creating strong linkages was another major recommendation with special attention given to Logistics Hub Initiative.

Innovative Solutions

Other recommendations included obtaining US customs clearance at Jamaica ports; and fostering strategic linkage with the investment promotion strategy and Special Economic Zones.

Natural, Organic, and Exotic.

We suggested that the positioning for Jamaica should be built on its icons such as Usain Bolt and Bob Marley. And to focus on its authentic attributes that could be positioned as natural, organic and exotic.