Over 300 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the export sector have benefitted from targeted technical assistance training to improve competitiveness and greater access to international markets under the FINPYME ExportPlus Jamaica programme.
Launched in October 2012 ExportPlus Jamaica was implemented by JAMPRO in collaboration with the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Under the 17-month initiative five individual technical assistance (ITA) sessions were held, which delivered personalized interventions, as well as eleven group technical sessions (GTAs) sessions hosted island-wide.
At the closing ceremony for the initiative which took place at the Terra Nova Hotel on Wednesday July 9, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton praised the accomplishments of the programme. He said, “Today we have been successful in transforming FINPYME possibilities into tangible realities and notable stories of Jamaican export success. FINPYME represents the type of export development programme that the Government of Jamaica is pleased to partner with, in keeping with the goals of Jamaica’s National Export Strategy.”
According to Jorge Roldan, Chief Technical Assistance and Strategic Partnerships Division, IIC, Jamaica is the only country out of 26 that has executed all the six key FINYPME programmes. He said, “SMEs need more than just financing, they need support and advise to be able to compete globally. We look forward to more things with you, especially with JAMPRO in the years ahead.”
JAMPRO President Diane Edwards lauded FINYPME ExportPlus for providing a unique collaboration of targeted resources and diverse expertise with the intention of nurturing the export capacity of Jamaican SMEs.
Under the initiative ITA sessions were provided to Southside Distributors, Honeykist Apiaries, Irie Rock Yaad Spa and Central Food Packers. According to Edwards, “Under the ITA sessions HoneyKist’s packaging, labeling and brand identity has been reframed to more accurately reflect an understanding of the desires of their target market. Southside Distributors have benefited immensely from training in the regulations, principles and procedures of canned foods.”
She added, “There has been a reframing of Irie Rock’s online persona in order to leverage the e-commerce platform and social media identity to increase their sales. Central Food Packers is a step closer to attaining their GFSI certification after participating in a Safe Quality Food Course.
This is critical to the growth of sales in their current markets.”
Outside of the ITA sessions, over 300 SMEs benefitted from the group sessions which were held under a wide cross section of topics including ‘Accessing Benefits under Trade Agreements’, ‘Financing for Innovative Export Products’, ‘Packaging and Labelling’, ‘Operational Efficiency: Building Productivity’ and more.
ExportPlus Jamaica is a programme under the World Trade Organisation’s Aid for Trade initiative. The Project Management Unit resided in the National Export Strategy (NES) Secretariat at JAMPRO, and worked closely with the agency’s Export and Market Development Department to plan and coordinate the technical assistance offered.
FINPYME ExportPlus was first launched in Guatemala as a pilot project. Today, the programme has been extended to several other countries in the Central American and Caribbean region, such as El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana and Suriname.
Published Date: July 9th, 2014
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