The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) won the Award for the Best TPO from a Small Country. JAMPRO has since become Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI).
The Government of Jamaica’s public sector modernization programme, which sought to give the public better value for money through improved quality of service, made it possible to change the way JAMPRO worked.
Focus on company development
Like many TPOs elsewhere, JAMPRO evolved from focusing solely on promotional and trade facilitation initiatives to increasing its emphasis on developing enterprises through exports while strengthening their competitiveness.
As part of JAMPRO’s reorganization, export development, technical assistance and business facilitation departments were added to its structure. The European Union (EU) appointed JAMPRO to manage a €28.7 million private sector development project (PSDP) over a four-year period. Through this project JAMPRO was expected to develop new services aimed at helping companies to increase exports.
Organizational improvements included setting up export centres across the island and expanding the scope of some of JAMPRO’s existing services, including an increase in the resources available for market penetration services. JAMPRO was working with other organizations to improve its outreach to provide services to exporters. For example, in the private sector it worked with the Jamaican Exporters Association and in the public sector with the Customs Authority and the Trade Board. This enabled JAMPRO to concentrate on its core activities.
Reorganisation of services
JAMPRO’s services were re-categorized under six main headings: trade information; trade finance; trade promotion, trade development, client servicing; and trade facilitation.
JAMPRO implemented a client relationship management (CRM) system in order to facilitate and reduce the time and cost taken to manage clients’ needs more effectively. The CRM system enabled all parts of the organization to work in concert in relation to a single client. JAMPRO also expected the CRM to enable it to track and measure the results of its activities, better manage campaigns, target customers (for example, with information materials), improve the delivery of services and, finally, to build better relationships with companies through a more informed knowledge of what they were doing and what JAMPRO could do for them.
As part of its attempt to give client focus a higher profile, JAMPRO concentrated on core client “winners” – companies that were usually ready to export, were competitive locally and at times internationally, and had significant export potential – more likely to succeed in export markets. JAMPRO devoted more resources to these clients. JAMPRO has also introduced online registration for exporters, which replaced in-person registration at its offices in Montego Bay and Kingston.
Another JAMPRO website provided information on how businesses can obtain technical assistance and financing. A third web site, enabling Jamaican producers to display their products on a single site and facilitate online placing of orders and purchases, was scheduled for completion by April 2005.
Greater business advocacy
JAMPRO moved away from simply advising the Government on the positions it should adopt in negotiating trade agreements, to acting as a “sponsor” for the industries with which it was working. JAMPRO cited efforts to persuade Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture to introduce the necessary systems to enable processors of dairy, meat and poultry products to acquire accreditation and enter foreign markets. They also worked with the Ministry of Transport and Works to improve roads to the coffee growing districts so that a greater proportion of the crop could be transported to ports and exported.
Introduction of a Trade Point
UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) regarded the “Trade Point” established by JAMPRO as a model example of the Trade Point concept. JAMPRO’s “Trade Point” was a single location where exporters could carry out trade-related transactions with JAMPRO, the Customs Authority and the Trade Board. To further simplify trade processes, services could be paid for by credit card. New services related to agricultural certification and health certification were to be added in 2004.
The organization sought to be more efficient in the use of its resources. In 2003, JAMPRO decided to reduce its staff by 4% and to reallocate the money to support export initiatives. It moved out of its rented offices into its own building where space was available for letting to third parties and where it could hire out rooms for the use of its clients and partners. This contributed (10%) to its aim of covering 40% of its budget for its worldwide operations through revenue generation.
In 2003–2004 JAMPRO assisted 73 companies to carry out activities identified in their individual company plans. JAMPRO clients increased export sales by 20% on average.
It registered 700 companies on its online system, www.jexporter.com, a component of its Trade Point.
EU programme management
The streamlining of the organization, coupled with its international reputation for efficiency, enabled JAMPRO to secure a contract from the EU to run the four-year PSDP.
When it reduced its staff by 22 in 2003, JAMPRO said publicly that it would “achieve the same with less”. The organization become much more efficient in the use of its resources and the governmental funds it received have been cut by approximately 4%.
Given dynamic and imaginative leadership, other TPOs could replicate JAMPRO’s improvements.