By Sherika Hall
KINGSTON, Jamaica, (GIS) – A ‘4E’ strategy has been developed by the Trade Board Limited (TBL) to identify and resolve issues surrounding Jamaica’s exports.
Trade administrator and TBL chief executive officer, Dr Major (Ret’d) Hugh Blake, says this is among the strategies that are being pursued by the agency to support the country’s export growth. He was speaking at a recent seminar at the University of the West Indies (UWI) regional headquarters in St Andrew, which provided traders with guidelines on how they can ‘Step-Up Export with Trade Agreements’.
Dr Blake said the 4E strategy is based on four pillars and is intended to educate, enable, expedite and evaluate. Regarding education, he noted that “one of our mandates is to be the chief repository and disseminator of trade-related information, which provides us with a huge opportunity to educate.”
In this context, the Jamaica Trade Information Portal (JTIP) is deemed of significant importance, as it is the primary tool used by TBL to inform traders. As regards enabling, Dr Blake pointed out that this is where the entity assists exporters to convert the knowledge gained through education into value.
“We will guide conformance to the qualifying criteria of the respective trade agreements and we will hand-hold exporters and guide them through the various export processes,” he pointed out.
Information and contact details of likely interested parties, market experts and relevant trade organisations in the importing countries, as well as access to trading tools such as duty and currency calculators and language translators, are also provided to traders.
Equally important is TBL’s recognition of the need to keep up with the pace of transactions through efficiency in its processes by using up-to-date technology.
To this end, the entity has established key performance indicators (KPIs) related to the time it takes to do business.
“We recognise that as business people, time is critical. At the Trade Board, we want to ensure that we operate in such a way that we do proper turnaround times, [honouring] all the commitments that we made in our service agreement,” the trade administrator informed. He added that since the KPIs’ establishment, “the entity is now operating at a 95 percent efficiency index, simply because we have decided that those things that we have control over, we are setting them as our KPIs”.
The Trade Board Limited also ensures that it continuously evaluates its processes to stay operationally efficient, adding value to the government’s thrust towards export.
“We recognise that with the government’s push to increase exports, services that we offer have to be efficient to handle what we expect to be increased volumes of business, which we are preparing ourselves to handle,” Dr Blake said.
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