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“Developing ‘Brand Jamaica’ will separate us from the competition”
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“Developing ‘Brand Jamaica’ will separate us from the competition”

Despite the tepid global recovery, Jamaican businesses and government agencies are ramping up efforts to attract investment, stimulate trade and encourage growth, according to Nakeeta Nembhard, 25, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Middlesex.

Jamaica achieved a number of milestones during the 2010-11 financial year which served as early indications that the country is poised to make significant strides toward economic recovery.

These included the establishment of the Jamaica Debt Exchange (JDX), which helps to identify new investment vehicles, and the steady reduction in interest rates by commercial banks.

This set the stage for increased access to credit for the business community as well as an overall reduction in crime. Non-traditional exports, in particular food exports, grew by 11.7% for the period between January and August 2010.

This has opened up creative ways to leverage Jamaica’s competitive advantages. Such efforts come at a particularly opportune time as competitors have sought to revamp their own strategies to attract investment and stimulate trade in a global business environment.

Sectors such as information communication technology, tourism, manufacturing and the creative industries continue to demonstrate strong growth potential, offering diversified opportunities to increase inward FDI and local investment flows, create employment and expand linkage opportunities. Additionally, new niche areas within major sectors are being explored in order to further develop and diversify Jamaica’s suite of investment opportunities – among these are health and wellness tourism, business process outsourcing and contract manufacturing.

The development of new strategies is guided by the need to recognise greater gains with fewer resources through cutting-edge and up-to-date methods. This becomes even more critical as countries with similar sectors of focus are competing with Jamaica for the same reduced pool of funds. In-keeping with this, efforts are currently underway to enhance packaging of investment opportunities through more in-depth research in order to provide more comprehensive information to prospective investors.

Additionally, further engagement and leveraging of key stakeholders both locally and in overseas markets has increased in an effort to expand access to networks within target markets and facilitate development of respective sectors. The president of the national trade and investment agency JAMPRO, Sancia Templer, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer, recently noted that through collaboration with members of the Jamaican diaspora the agency will further improve development.

With respect to trade, further development and leveraging of ‘Brand Jamaica’ will serve to differentiate Jamaican products from similar items produced by competitors. This is the over-arching principle guiding promotional strategies for exports such as those implemented for major international trade shows in which Jamaica participates (e.g. America’s Food and Beverage Show and the Summer and Winter Fancy Food shows).

The continued success of developing countries and emerging markets presents further opportunities for the expansion of the marketing thrust of previous fiscal years. With projections for slow, yet steady, recovery in the global economy and increased investor confidence along with more effective marketing strategies, the prospects for economic growth are expanding due to efforts at diversifying and developing Jamaican business.

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About me:

“I am a development practitioner whose particular area of interest is the relationship between people and their physical environment. My formal training has allowed me to gain an appreciation of the development process and the factors involved in achieving national development objectives.

“I hold a Masters of Science Degree with distinction in Sociology and am a recipient of the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award for Academics. Currently I am employed to the national trade and investment promotion agency, JAMPRO, as a consulting officer in planning and policy development.”

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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