‘Time for a Export-Centric Growth Strategy’, says former JEA President

Jamaica won’t achieve real economic growth until it adopts an export-centric growth strategy.

That’s the view of Past President of the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA) Dr. Andre Gordon. He was speaking this afternoon at a Rotary Club of Kingston meeting at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston.

Dr. Gordon says the government should invest more in products and service exports, including tourism, and implement policies to improve the sectors.

Even the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, is puzzled as to why economic growth continues to elude Jamaica, despite the nation meeting all the global body’s fiscal targets. But Dr. Gordon says he has the answer.

He notes there’s been significant investments in tourism, but not by the government or local stakeholders.

The businessman says for decades successive administrations have failed to properly fund and implement necessary national policies to improve the export sector.

Dr. Gordon says Jamaica is among the worst performing nations in the Caribbean in terms of exports.

This he says despite significant improvements over the past few years, in exporting beverages, yam, seafood and other products.

Dr. Gordon says the focus on the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector and foreign direct investment initiatives, is unlikely to spark growth in the economy.

And Dr. Gordon is calling for companies to tap into what he says are opportunities available in the creative industries, as service exports.

He says the nation has failed to take significant advantage of opportunities in music and the cannabis sectors.