The Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce (MIIC) has appointed the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) to develop and implement an action plan to increase the competitiveness of Micro and Small Entrepreneurs (MSEs) involved in the Furniture and Wooden Products Industry.
The project titled Furniture Jamaica will seek to improve the fortunes of furniture and wooden products manufacturers’ islandwide who have been impacted by relatively inexpensive imports, raw material shortage and unavailability, archaic production processes and other issues.It is hoped that this intervention will increase the supply of locally manufactured furniture to domestic and international markets as well as assist the industry in making a more meaningful and visible contribution to economic development.
Furniture Jamaica will be administered in five components: in component one, an in-depth analysis will be conducted to ascertain the status of the industry with particular emphasis on the number of manufacturers involved, the type of technologies utilized and the export capabilities of the producers.
Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Valerie Veira notes that this particular project is an important one as JBDC continues to put MSEs on a track to growth and prosperity.“JBDC has been focusing on different industries in a bid to improve their business processes.We have assisted enterprises in capacity building and in a number of cases, retooling which has resulted in more efficiently produced products available to the market place both locally and globally.The Furniture Jamaica project will facilitate clients to participate in a potentially large industry and formalize and standardize the offerings, while assisting in the reduction of unemployment in Jamaica.”
The second component of the project speaks to developing an effective and appropriate Industrial Development Framework and provision of developmental support to the industry.The main outputs of this component are public and private sector agreements in place which will allow the industry to have representation in industry specific forums, develop an industry profile and access technical assistance which provides certified training for the industry.
Component three covers the upgrading needs of the industry’s workers with several workshops, training seminars and technical interventions scheduled.Additionally, participants will have access to the latest technology including computer aided manufacturing and design programmes with the appropriate software, which will aid in standardizing products for the industry.
The fourth and fifth components take on an integrated approach which seeks to increase awareness of the newly developed products as well as to introduce the cluster/networking model to participants.The cluster approach which is active in many other industries will help small manufacturers to co-operate and compete more effectively in an industry dominated by larger manufacturers.
The project is expected to be implemented over a three year period.
Public Relations Unit