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July 11, 2014
Star News


SMEs benefit from JAMPRO ExportPlus Initiative

Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister Anthony Hylton thanks Dr Jorge Roldan, chief-technical assistance and strategic partnerships division, IIC, for supporting Jamaican SME exporters with funding under the FINPYME Programme. Looking on are vice-president of corporate development and competitiveness at JAMPRO, Shullette Cox, and JAMPRO President Diane Edwards (third left) at the closing ceremony of the FINYPME Programme at the Terra Nova Hotel on July 9, 2014.

More than 300 small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs) in the export sector have benefited 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. Aditionally, eleven group technical assistance (GTAs) sessions were hosted islandwide.

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.

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 have 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."

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 resides in the National Export Strategy (NES) Secretariat at JAMPRO, and works 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.

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