Jea Warns Small Exporters Against Ignoring Trade Opportunities

President of the Jamaica Exporters’ Association, Vitus Evans, has called for small exporters to begin working together to ensure they do not miss out on opportunities in the international market.

“We need to embrace the concept of collaborating to compete with the rest of the world,” Mr. Evans told stakeholders attending the launch of National Exporters’ Month, at the Jamaica Pegasus on Tuesday (June 1).

“We need to stop viewing our fellow exporters as competitors, but rather band together to fill larger contracts and orders to compete with larger players. Exporters of similar products must join together to fill orders if we are to grow our exports,” he said.

At the same time, Mr. Evans called for the involvement and commitment of all stakeholders to ensure that the policies identified in the National Export Strategy are executed successfully.

Figures from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) have shown that exports for January 2010 amounted to $117 million, an increase of 6.9 per cent above the $109 million in January 2009. Mr. Evans also disclosed that the trade deficit for 2009 stood at $3.7 billion dollars and indicated that there is still much to be done to close the gap between imports and exports.

National Exporters’ Month is being celebrated this year under the theme ‘Achieving Economic Development Through an Export Led Strategy’. The aim of the month is to recognise and celebrate the achievements of outstanding exporters, as well as focus attention on the contribution of the export sector to the development of the economy.