Business View Caribbean | Volume 8, Issue 7

25 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN VOLUME 8, ISSUE 7 During the height of the pandemic in 2020, the JMEA advocated successfully for the following: 1. Three months moratorium on rent and stay on rental increases for manufacturers from the Factories Corporation of Jamaica Ltd. (FCJ) during the onset of COVID-19. 2. Fifty percent reduction in export fees charged by the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA). 3. Prevention of a forty percent duty on refined sugar that would have been introduced on local manufacturers. 4. Reinstatement of import duty on hand sanitizers in 2020, to ensure that our local manufacturers could capitalize on market demand. These we believe, are steps in the right direction that will help to support manufacturing and export and ultimately boost investor confidence. At present, the JMEA remains focused on continuing its lobbying efforts on the following issues, that once rectified will also make significant contributions: 1. Provision of a fiscal or tax credit for Research and Development (R&D) for new products or improvement on existing products for export or import substitution upon approval of projects by a body such as the National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST). 2. The implementation of equitable policies that balances and supports environmental and industry goals in relation to the ban on importation and usage of plastics and Styrofoam. 3. Jamaica’s adoption of the Madrid Protocol which will facilitate the acquisition of trademark protection for several countries JAMA I CA MANUFACTURERS AND EXPORTERS ASSOC I AT ION ( JMEA) using a single application. 4. Endorsement of the CARICOM Private Sector Organization (CPSO) undertaking of a comprehensive Regional Impact Assessment (RIA) on Front of Package Labelling (FOPL) before subscribing to a regional standard. Jamaica, like the rest of the world since 2020, has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with several sectors including manufacturing and export being affected. Over 70 percent of our membership falls within the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (MSME) category. Our MSMEs, specifically those supplying the Entertainment, Tourism and Education industries, have been hardest hit. Some of the major challenges they encountered included inadequate liquidity, complete loss of or decrease in the local market, loss of access to international markets, loss of access to external