A Revival for Jamaican Manufacturing?

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - January 17, 2012

Above: Industry Minister Anthony Hylton

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Manufacturing is a “major area of growth potential” for Jamaica, and it will regain its status as a critical driver of growth, according to Industry Minister Anthony Hylton.

Manufacturing is a “key part of industry to attract investments, earn foreign exchange and generate employment,” said Hylton, who was speaking to a delegation from the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association in New Kingston yesterday.

According to Hylton, the country needs to address its trade relations with Trinidad and Tobago, its procurement policy and its marketing and promotional work.

JMA Vice President Metry Seaga, who led the delegation, called on Hylton to forge an “activist partnership” with the sector in order to engineer its revival.

“We need more on the ground involvement,” he said.

The JMA is also advocating for the creation of a Manufacturing Advisory Board that would interface with the Ministry.

According to Seaga, the manufacturing sector contributes 8 percent of Jamaica’s GDP and employs approximately 74,000 workers.

Earlier this year, former Industry Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said the manufacturing sector was impeded in large part by the high cost of energy.

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