Jamaica must look to become more self-sufficient in imported commodities that can be produced locally, says Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr. Norman Dunn.
Speaking at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) ‘Breakfast with the CEO’ meeting, at the AC Hotel Kingston, on April 21, Dr. Dunn said this is imperative, in light of the logistics and supply chain challenges resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The State Minister also underscored the need for the country’s exports to be further boosted, in order to generate significantly greater earnings that will serve to bolster the economy.
“We must develop things that are far beyond our needs, here in Jamaica. As a country, we need to use these two major disasters as the turning point [to this end]… [so that] we can support ourselves,” he added.
Dr. Dunn said challenges arising from the pandemic and the geopolitical conflict should serve as lessons of the need for the nation to “rise above where we are now” in order to achieve the desired outcomes.
He maintained that persons must understand that Jamaica does not exist in isolation but is part of an interconnected global village.
The State Minister emphasised, however, that within this environment, “we have to [determine] where [and who] we want to be,” adding that the JBDC “sits in a pivotal [position] to assist in redefining who we are as a people”.
“Therefore, exports and exporting have to become a mantra. Let us use what’s going on now [globally] to reshape who we are as a country [and acknowledge] that there is nothing that can stop us [from doing so],” Dr. Dunn added.