An export programme is to be developed for small and medium-sized businesses to assist with enhancing the global competitiveness of these entities.
This was disclosed by President of the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA), Michelle Chong, who said the programme is expected to be launched before the middle of the year.
“We will be having a full-fledged export curriculum to take small businesses from where they are to the heights of export, and we will be doing this together,” she said while addressing a packaging and labelling workshop hosted by the JEA at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St. Andrew yesterday (April 21).
It is to be developed by the JEA in collaboration with the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), and EXIM Bank.
Ms. Chong noted that this initiative was being undertaken in an effort for businesses to work together as a team to compete in the global market place and not amongst themselves.
“So instead of everybody doing their (own) thing, we need to be able to come together and make ourselves more efficient in a way in which we can achieve and focus on our goals and stop focusing on competing with each other,” she said.
She noted that in this new global world with new ways of doing things, small business owners need to adjust their strategies, embrace innovation and work together to build the industry.
“In a global market, we have to think differently. We have a world of 7.5 billion people…and just as you change your market, you have to change your strategy. Our strategy cannot any longer be about competing with each other. We have to learn how to collaborate with each other to build a better industry, so that we become world known for what we do in our industry,” she said.
The workshop, which was held in collaboration with National Bakery and Point Global Marketing, is part of the JEA’s commitment to increasing the global competitiveness of its members and other micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The event focused on the importance of a product’s package/label as it relates to the aesthetics of the product, labelling requirements and restrictions of the country to which the product will be exported.
Guest Speaker at the event was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Continental Baking Company Limited, Gary ‘Butch’ Hendrickson.