The expansion of Jamaica's export market, the implementation of digital technologies to drive exports and the targeted development of human capital to boost the MSME (Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises) sector were the suggestions put forward by researchers from the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) to address the decline of key sectors driving export and economic growth in the Jamaican economy.
The occasion was a public forum at the school held recently under the theme Transforming Jamaica's Economic Competiveness.
Dr William Lawrence, director of Professional Services Unit at the MSBM and lead researcher for the study of Jamaica's performance in the Global Competitiveness Survey, discussed the decline and noted that the Global Competitiveness Report 2018 published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) recommended that Jamaica substantially boost its exports in order to achieve meaningful growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said an analysis which was conducted by a team at the MSBM, using the Planning Institute of Jamaica's GDP growth data, mapped three export-producing sectors, namely manufacturing, mining and agriculture over the past 35 years. The findings showed that the GDP growth in mining and manufacturing together accounted for 63 per cent of the total GDP variability.
“From 1982 to 2017, mining as a per cent of GDP has fallen from six per cent to two per cent...manufacturing as a per cent of GDP in terms of contribution has fallen from 16 per cent to 8.6 per cent. We are seeing that the sectors that influence growth, to the extent of 63 per cent, are on the decline and if these sectors are declining, we have some decisions to make,” Lawrence said.