Canadian Scotiabank has agreed to donate J$9 million (US$71,948) for Export Max III, a Jamaican government program designed to bolster the country’s exportation sector.
The program – supervised by investment promotion agency JAMPRO and Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association – is aiming to enable at least 50 Jamaicans in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) sector to start exporting goods or services to other countries.
As part of the program, the government agencies will assist them in building capacity and launching marketing campaigns in overseas countries.
“… As a sponsor, we can help to drive greater exports for Jamaica, because that is the true engine of growth for the economy,” stated Audrey Tugwell Henry, Scotiabank’s executive vice-president for retail banking.
“Small business is an important sector for the bank, and we recognize that this is an even more important sector for the economy, and for Jamaica.”
Scotiabank is Jamaica’s oldest bank, with more than a century of operations on the island. Today it runs around 35 branches, employing over 2,000 Jamaicans. It has recently sold off insurance business in the country but is focusing on strengthening retail and commercial banking services.
This is the third edition of the program, and this has boosted the country’s exportation sector like never before, according to the investment promotion agency.
“We increased exports in the first one by 33 per cent, and then the second by over 200 per cent. This time, we know the sky’s the limit,” said Diane Edwards, JAMPRO’s president.
For Jamaica, bauxite is the major exporting material, but it also exports ethanol, cane sugar, alcoholic beverages, coffee, scrap metal, cyclic compounds, and manioc.
The United States is its major buyer, accounting for 42 percent of total exports. Other export partners include Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Russia, Germany, Iceland and Norway.