The Trade Board Limited (TBL) has announced that plans are in place to establish an ‘Export Academy’ to help bolster Jamaica’s export capacity.
The platform will be a free online service provided by the Government through the entity.
Trade Administrator and TBL Chief Executive Officer, Hugh Blake, informed that the academy will “reduce the uncertainty about how to export and give businesses the tools and confidence to seek out export opportunities globally”.
Blake said the facility will also empower Jamaica’s exporters “with even greater decision-making information and trade-in know-how”.
NAVIGATING THE SYSTEM
He was addressing TBL’s ‘Step-Up Export with Trade Agreements’ seminar at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters in St Andrew.
Regarding the platform’s operation, Blake explained that exporters will complete an online questionnaire that is analysed by standard programming to identify knowledge gaps, after which the information will be used to customise a training programme for that particular company or individual.
“The export academy is no big mystery. What it really is, is that we have developed an instrument where we capture from the potential exporter what exactly they want to do, and based on how they fill out that questionnaire, we [will] know where the critical knowledge gap is,” he added.
Once the information is identified for a company or individual, it will be sent to them automatically. This will be followed by a series of quizzes and feedback provided by the TBL.
PURPOSE OF ACADEMY’S DEVELOPMENT
The academy’s development is being done in addition to the TBL’s efforts to expand the reach and scope of the Jamaica Trade information Portal (JTIP) through the presentation of its content in Spanish and French.
The JTIP provides exporters and importers with data on the regulatory requirements to conduct trade transactions. The facility is the only one of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean.
“The dynamic trade environment in which we operate requires us to innovate and to be strategic in the way in which we obtain, interpret and disseminate data or information. [Consequently], the JTIP… needs to be expansive and accessible,” Blake maintained.
He further indicated that the strategies being pursued by the TBL are in support of export growth in Jamaica.
“Without a doubt, we can agree that for Jamaica’s economy to grow, we must earn, fundamentally, new monies from outside our shores. This can only be done through greater exports of Jamaica’s goods and services,” Blake underscored.