Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), has identified several investment and export opportunities that can be pursued for national growth and development, after the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The areas cited by the country’s investment and export promotion agency include: manufacturing, agriculture and agribusiness, logistics services, e-commerce, the global services sector (GSS) and other information technology (IT)-enabled services, healthcare and biotechnology, and renewable energy.
Speaking at a digital press conference on April 9, President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards, said the agency is recommending services, agribusiness, manufacturing and healthcare related products as areas of greatest opportunity for export.
“Despite the challenges, there is a way forward and we must use this situation that we are going through to think about life beyond COVID-19, to think about the recovery, to think about what sort of economy, lifestyle and country we want to have going forward,” she said.
Ms. Edwards emphasised that manufacturing is a key sector for post-COVID-19 economic recovery.
“We think that in the right type of manufacturing, investments can be lucrative. We think the world is going to change… people are going to become more health conscious, so if you look at the products that people and consumers are going to be looking for after this, they are going to be looking beyond hand sanitisers and face masks. They are going to be looking at healthy eating,” she pointed out.
As it relates to agriculture and agribusiness, Ms. Edwards said the opportunity during this period is to focus on shoring up the sector to make it more viable, efficient and technology-driven.
She argued that there will also be a need for more local manufacturers of food-based products and increased linkages between local growers and buyers to meet demand in the market.
and agriculture is going to be one of the most resilient sectors to come out of
this,” Ms. Edwards said.
She also noted that opportunities for delivery and transport of goods locally and internationally will remain important.
“Logistics services are critical in moving goods from one location to the other,” she said.
Ms. Edwards pointed out that purchases and the conducting of businesses online will continue post the pandemic.
“Persons are going to be looking at products that make lives easier. They are going to be looking at e-commerce: how do I continue to get my groceries delivered at home, how do I continue to live the habits of e-commerce that I have developed. So, enabling e-commerce is going to be another huge opportunity,” she said.
Pointing out that Jamaicans are embracing the working from home concept, the JAMPRO President is encouraging investors to explore projects in GSS that will provide high-level, diverse services online and IT related jobs.
“People are going to get accustomed to this working from home and people who have young children and reasons to stay at home are not necessarily going to want to go back to the office. People will want to continue with the digital services sector that underpins the ability to work from home,” she emphasised.
Ms. Edwards said investments in overall healthcare generally, as well as in biotechnology and research are other excellent opportunities.
She added that research and development will be important in the country’s recovery efforts.
Making the case for renewable energy, she expressed the view that the sector will be increasingly important as Jamaica seeks to increase energy security and reduce the cost of electricity.
“Logistics and equipping our ports are going to be critical to the recovery, and renewable energy as an enabler is going to be important, because we have to reduce the cost of energy in Jamaica. The cost of energy underpins almost everything we do in industry and this is what will keep us competitive and make us more competitive,” she said.
The President emphasised that export opportunities can be found in the areas of export of services through the digital economy, in agriculture as well as in the manufacturing and export of healthcare related products. These include natural products, natural vitamins and natural remedies.
“As Jamaica’s economic development agency, our focus has to change, we have to support those industries… which will be underpinning the diversification of our economy,” Ms. Edwards said.
By: Chris Patterson
Source: Jamaica Information Service (JIS)