Find Industry and Manufacturing expertise in Jamaica
Jamaica’s manufacturing industry is dominated by agro processing and light manufacturing and has been identified as a key area for growth by the Jamaican government. Manufacturing contributes around 8.4% of Jamaica’s GDP (2008) and employs about 6% of the population (2007). The CIA estimates that in 2010 the manufacturing sector was in decline, falling by 2%. Key sectors in Jamaica’s manufacturing industry include agro processing, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper and chemical products.
Some of the main companies operational in Jamaica include Jamaica Fibreglass, Millwood Industries Ltd, Caldoors, Jamaica Producers Group LTD and Red Stripe Beer.
The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (2012-2013) describes these manufacturing activities as moderately sophisticated. It scores 3.3 out of 7 in production process sophistication where 1 indicates labour intensive methods where the use previous generation technology prevails and 7 indicates the best and most efficient process technology prevails. Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago score similarly but slightly above Jamaica, scoring 4.0 and 3.9 respectively, showing that levels of production sophistication are comparable across the region.
The Jamaican Government has several incentives in place to encourage new investment in the manufacturing sector. The Export Industry Encouragement Act offers ten years’ income tax relief to qualifying firms, plus exemptions on duty for imported machinery and raw materials. Companies can also apply for income tax relief on profits and for exemption from import duties and licensing under the Jamaica Export Free Zone Act.
Although sugar is produced in many Caribbean countries, stiff competition between them is tempered by the fact that the English speaking Caribbean countries are members of the Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC) which represents all their interests in the international export market.
The Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) is the sole private sector agency which exclusively represents Jamaican manufacturers. Its establishment in 1947 was intended to facilitate the development of the sector which would result in economic growth and job creation for the Jamaican people. JMA represents manufacturers of a diverse range of products including chemicals, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, electricals and automotive, food and agro products, minerals and metals and textiles at both a large and small or medium scale.
In 2006 the Jamaican government, with the aid of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), prepared the long-term National Development Plan (NDP) which outlined the strategies by which Jamaica could gain the status of developed country by 2030. The Manufacturing Task Force was put in place to increase productivity and value added production through the use of more efficient technology and environmentally friendly and sustainable processes.