Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in
the Global Knowledge Economy
Conference Report
Editor: Silburn St. Au...
Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 1
TABLE OF ...
Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 2
GLOSSARY
...
Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 3
KSF Knowl...
Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 4
PARTNERSH...
Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 5
EXECUTIVE...
Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 6
outcomes ...
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some gene...
Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 8
OPENING C...
Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 9
training,...
Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 10
Address ...
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natural ...
Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 12
PRESENTA...
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In looki...
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Conclusi...
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The new ...
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MODULE 1...
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Jamaica ...
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MODULE 1...
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competit...
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MODULE 1...
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Addition...
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Strategi...
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 Review...
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 An opp...
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DAY ONE ...
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 New bu...
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better d...
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internal...
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Capacity...
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Highligh...
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 As wit...
Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 32
and depe...
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The tour...
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Tourism ...
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preventi...
Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 36
“Develop...
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 The ca...
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sectors ...
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are not ...
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JAMPRO’s...
Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 41
Wrap up
...
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 Transg...
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perspect...
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy
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Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy

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This two day conference highlighted the benefits and challenges for Jamaica’s development in the globally competitive knowledge economy. Some 90 thought-leaders from the private sector, public sector, media, NGOs, education and the political space, brainstormed and enthusiastically participated in the conference. The event was lead by a distinguished international group of experts in knowledge economy transformations and global competitiveness including Principal Advisors, Dr. Jean-Eric Aubert and Prof. Carl Dahlman (former Directors of the Knowledge Economy Division of the World Bank Institute), Prof. Neville Duncan, Dr. Dawn Elliott, Mr. Kenneth Hynes, Dr. Densil Williams, Prof. Evan Duggan, Prof. Hopeton Dunn, Dr. Carolyn Hayle, Dr. Andre Gordon, Mr. Robert Gregory, Dr. Anne Crick, Dr. Gunjan Mansingh and Mr. Richard Lumsden. The conference was opened by The Most Honourable Professor Sir Kenneth Octavius Hall, ON, GCMG, OJ, who indicated that it was now widely accepted that countries have been embracing knowledge and innovative related policies to improve growth and competitiveness and that policies should “identify, enhance, and exploit intangible assets in the areas of education, innovation, information and communication technology, and the prerequisite economic and institutional regime.”
The first session chaired by Prof Neville Duncan saw five presentations were delivered, which were geared towards establishing a shared understanding of key terms and concepts.
The second session chaired by Dr. Densil Williams saw four presentations being made on specific knowledge sectors in the Jamaican economy: ICT, telecommunications, hospitality and tourism and agriculture.
In the third session chaired by Prof Evan Duggan four presentations examined issues and policies related to two critical knowledge economy pillars; education and innovation and the nexus between both which provides the capability of powerful and important synergies; knowledge management and Vision 2030.
The fourth session was chaired by Prof. Winston Davidson and had two presentations; . Dr. Jean-Eric Aubert in his presentation provided some insight into innovation policy and suggested some generic policy measures to support innovation, for Jamaica. Prof. Carl Dahlman reviewed issues and policies of the Knowledge Economy related to education and training.

Three key Action Plans were subsequently crafted.
• How to engage public and private sector leaders in the drive for Knowledge Economy and Society transformation
• How to exploit competitive niche projects as a source of jobs creation and wealth increase
• How to adjust the Education and Training System to Competitiveness and Knowledge Economy Needs

All presentations are available at the Knowledge Society Foundation website www.knowledgesocietyfoundation.com

The conference was sponsored by Spatial Innovision (www.spatialvision.com) using proceeds from the Pioneers of Prosperity Award

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Strategies for Enhancing the Competitiveness of Jamaican Firms in the Global Knowledge Economy

  1. 1. Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy Conference Report Editor: Silburn St. Aubyn Clarke, FRICS Friday April 15, 2011 and Saturday April 16, 2011 Mona Visitors Lodge and Conference Centre University of the West Indies, Mona Kingston, Jamaica
  2. 2. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 1 TABLE OF CONTENTS GLOSSARY.............................................................................................................................................................................................2 PARTNERSHIPS, SPONSORSHIPS & ENDORSEMENTS .............................................................................................4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.................................................................................................................................................................5 OPENING CEREMONY....................................................................................................................................................................8 PRESENTATIONS AND DISCUSSIONS...............................................................................................................................12 DAY ONE - AM SESSION........................................................................................................................................................12 DAY ONE – PM SESSION.......................................................................................................................................................25 DAY TWO - AM SESSION......................................................................................................................................................45 DAY TWO - PM SESSION......................................................................................................................................................60 CLOSING CEREMONY..................................................................................................................................................................74 THE WAY FORWARD..................................................................................................................................................................76 FEEDBACK.........................................................................................................................................................................................79 APPENDICES ....................................................................................................................................................................................82 PARTICIPATING STAKEHOLDERS..............................................................................................................................83 CONFERENCE LEADERS / PRESENTERS....................................................................................................................87 LEAD SPONSOR, CONFERENCE DIRECTOR & RAPPORTEURS....................................................................97 PICTORIALS..............................................................................................................................................................................100
  3. 3. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 2 GLOSSARY ADR Assessment of Development Results BRIC Brazil, Russia, India and China BSJ Bureau of Standards Jamaica CANTA Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies CARICOM Caribbean Community CDCC Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee CITO Central Information Technology Office CSME Caribbean Single Market and Economy CVQ Caribbean Vocational Qualification DFID Department for International Development ECLAC Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean EU European Union FDI Foreign Direct Investment FY Financial Year GDP Gross Domestic Product GIS Geographic Information System GOJ Government of Jamaica ICT Information and Communication Technologies IDB Inter-American Development Bank IDRC International Development Research Centre ILO International Labour Organization INDECOM Independent Commission of Investigations IS Information System ISO International Standards Organisation IT Information Technology ITC International Trade Centre JAAA Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association JAMPRO Jamaica Promotions Corporation JBDC Jamaica Business Development Corporation JCF Jamaica Constabulary Force JCS Jamaica Computer Society JEF Jamaica Employers’ Federation JHTA Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association JOA Jamaica Olympics Association JTI Jamaica Trade and Invest
  4. 4. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 3 KSF Knowledge Society Foundation MDG Millennium Development Goal MSB Mona School of Business MSME Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises MSTQ Metrology, Standards, Testing and Quality NCTVET National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training NGO Non Government Organisation NTA National Training Agency NTO National Tourism Organisation NVQJ National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica OAS Organization of American States OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development PC Personal Computer PIOJ Planning Institute of Jamaica PISA Programme for International Student Assessment PSOJ Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica R&D Research and Development SALISES Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies SIDS Small Island Developing States SME Small and Medium Sized Enterprises STATIN Statistical Institute of Jamaica TPDCO Tourism Product Development Company TPM Telecommunications Policy Management Programme UDC Urban Development Corporation UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund UTech University of Technology UWI University of the West Indies WTO World Trade Organization
  5. 5. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 4 PARTNERSHIPS, SPONSORSHIPS & ENDORSEMENTS The Knowledge Society Foundation expresses its gratitude to these kind partners and sponsors without whom this Conference would not have been possible. Title Sponsor:
  6. 6. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Knowledge Society Foundation, an independent affiliate of the Jamaica Computer Society, planned, organised and delivered a historic and highly successful two-day conference on "Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy" at the Mona Visitor's Lodge and Conference Centre, University of the West Indies, Mona on April 15th and 16th , 2011. The conference was commissioned by Spatial Innovision Limited with financing from an Award of the Caribbean Pioneers of Prosperity Programme and endorsed/co-sponsored by Fujitsu Caribbean Limited, the Mona School of Business, the Information Division of the UWI Mona Campus, JAMPRO, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and the Jamaica Computer Society. Immense interest has been expressed in this very important and timely topic, by a variety of persons, companies, trade unions and members of academia and the media, as the country continues the debate on growth strategies, grounded in our yet untapped unique human potential. The objective of the conference programme was to impart a deeper understanding of applied strategies for enhancing the competitiveness of Jamaican firms, society and economy for successful participation in the Global Knowledge Economy, in support of our national development. It is intended that among the many deliverables, that this Conference will be the start of a national, and hopefully through the University of the West Indies, a regional discourse and debate, resulting in national and regional action plans on the necessary strategies to be adopted for enabling our economies and societies to become more fully articulated into the global knowledge economy. Some 90 thought-leaders from the private sector, public sector, media, NGOs, education and the political space, attended and enthusiastically participated in the conference. The event was lead by a distinguished international group of experts in knowledge economy transformations and global competitiveness including Principal Advisors, Dr. Jean-Eric Aubert and Prof. Carl Dahlman (former Directors of the Knowledge Economy Division of the World Bank Institute), Prof. Neville Duncan, Dr. Dawn Elliott, Mr. Kenneth Hynes, Dr. Densil Williams, Prof. Evan Duggan, Prof. Hopeton Dunn, Dr. Carolyn Hayle, Dr. Andre Gordon, Mr. Robert Gregory, Dr. Anne Crick, Dr. Gunjan Mansingh and Mr. Richard Lumsden. The conference was opened by The Most Honourable Professor Sir Kenneth Octavius Hall, ON, GCMG, OJ, who gave the keynote address. In his remarks he expressed the hope that the
  7. 7. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 6 outcomes of the conference would influence the policy direction chosen by Government to achieve the intended growth objectives for the country. On conclusion of the opening ceremony, the Day One AM Session commenced, chaired by Professor Neville Duncan. Five presentations were delivered, which were geared towards establishing a shared understanding of key terms and concepts; knowledge society, knowledge economy and competitiveness and proposing strategies for development at both the macro and the micro levels. Questions, comments and responses of the session centred on the interplay between macro and micro issues, the importance of collaboration in striving for competitiveness and the behavioural and cultural issues that impede progress. The Day One PM Session was chaired by Dr. Densil Williams and saw four presentations being made on specific knowledge sectors in the Jamaican economy: ICT, telecommunications, hospitality and tourism and agriculture. The feedback from participants and subsequent discussions revolved around the evolution of the ICT sector globally and in Jamaica; the recognition that the tourism sector is more than accommodation and that there are potential for areas such as health and wellness tourism; the critical role of education in creating a knowledge-based society and driving evidence based decision making; and identifying the emerging areas in a dying agricultural sector and how to overcome the barriers. In the morning of Day Two, the Session was chaired by Professor Evan Duggan. The two presentations before the break were devoted to the examination of issues and policies related to two critical knowledge economy pillars; education and innovation and the nexus between both which provides the capability of powerful and important synergies. After the break, there was a presentation on knowledge management and knowledge management systems and their applicability to issues of crime, healthcare and agriculture. The morning session closed with an examination of Vision 2030 and the facilitators and inhibitors of the operationalisation of Vision 2030. A lively discussion ensued with participants being concerned with issues such as: the contradiction of supporting processes of innovation within an organizational framework; the leadership deficit within the public and private sectors; the difference between creative and cultural industries and the policy implications for both; and the level of budgetary allocation for the Vision 2030 Plan. Day Two PM Session sought to pull together the discussions of the previous day and a half and focused the participants on strategizing for the implementation of practical knowledge economy initiatives for Jamaica. The session was chaired by Prof. Winston Davidson. Dr. Jean- Eric Aubert in his presentation provided some insight into innovation policy and suggested
  8. 8. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 7 some generic policy measures to support innovation, for Jamaica. Prof. Carl Dahlman reviewed issues and policies of the Knowledge Economy related to education and training. Action plans on the way forward for driving the transform of the Jamaican landscape to a knowledge-based economy and society were crafted, during the hotly debated break-out sessions which followed, including rich ideas on;  How to engage public and private sector leaders in the drive for Knowledge Economy and Knowledge Society transformation  How to exploit competitive niche projects as a source of jobs creation and wealth increase  How to adjust the Education and Training System to Competitiveness and Knowledge Economy Needs All presentations are available for viewing on the Knowledge Society Foundation website at www.knowledgesocietyfoundation.com In summing up the recommendations Dr. Aubert and Prof. Dahlman made valuable suggestions for strengthening the suggested actions for greater effectiveness and results. The overall action plan, including these recommendations, is presented in the Section of the report entitled “The Way Forward”. This two day conference highlighted the benefits and challenges for Jamaica’s development in this globally competitive knowledge economy. A recurring theme throughout the conference was the need to ensure that the deliberations and recommendations are carried through to affect national policies and programmes. The organizers were encouraged to identify a vehicle through which this process of institutionalization would be driven and to move immediately into dialogue with the relevant stakeholders who are critical to the success of this process.
  9. 9. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 8 OPENING CEREMONY Welcome and Opening Remarks. – Mrs. Jacqueline daCosta – Conference Chair In her opening remarks Mrs. daCosta, situated the conference in the current economic and social crisis facing Jamaica. She explained that Spatial Innovision, had recently won a prestigious award, which should have been allocated train staff, in the areas of competitiveness and knowledge, which are considered importance issues for doing business today. Instead, Spatial decided to host the Conference and extend the invitation to several critical persons in the society who have an interest in this area, to be a part of the training. Mrs. daCosta advised the participants that the Knowledge Society Foundation (KSF), an affiliate of the Jamaica Computer Society was hired to plan and organise the training session/conference. KSF is dedicated to advocating on the knowledge society and the wide scale adoption of ICT in the country. In welcoming all to the Conference she expressed the hope for a successful event with positive outcomes to the benefit of Jamaica. Opening Prayer - Rev. Lennox Scarlette In his opening prayer, Rev. Lennox Scarlette, called on God to lift up the industries of science, engineering and technology and the persons working in these industries at all levels. He gave thanks for the opportunity to meet, reflect and deliberate on the conference theme. It is God who gave us the raw materials for discovery and gifted us with the skills to make scientific and technological advances that contribute to the betterment of humanity. He prayed that deliberations would result in a firm foundation to finding more and better ways to use science and technology to connect, help and heal persons around the world. He prayed for encouragement for those who continue to search for solutions to the problems that still face us and the perseverance to endure, as we look with hope at the possibilities that await us. Conference Design and Objectives - Dr. Jean-Eric Aubert and Prof. Carl Dahlman Dr. Aubert in his remarks thanked the organisers for the opportunity to participate. He also thanked JAMPRO for organising the brief tour which allowed them to meet with persons in politics, business and academics, providing a good introduction and some insight into understanding the country. He emphasized that the Conference sessions were not just about
  10. 10. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 9 training, but that it was important to arrive of some concrete action plans for implementing the Knowledge Economy in Jamaica, with a focus on competitiveness. The role of the facilitators would be to focus the ideas of the participants. They would however provide ideas which they think are relevant, but it is up to the participants to arrive at the conclusions. He reiterated the importance of maintaining the momentum of the conference and to allow the recommendations to be scaled up to the level of policy makers in order to have some national impact. Prof. Carl Dahlman indicated his pleasure at being invited to participate. He thanked especially, Spatial Innovision, for sharing the prize money in this manner. He advised that the conference programme was designed to highlight a number of perspectives, issues and approaches for improving competitiveness in Jamaica. After the knowledge sharing however, there would be need to focus on the critical issues and what could be done to make a difference. He emphasised that several studies have been undertaken and reports produced. The real proof of making a difference and getting the required returns, however, would be turning the ideas into concrete action plans for implementation. He challenged persons to listen as the presentations are made and to focus on the big challenges, to discuss them and to identify the key areas which can be tackled and which can be tackled in a way that can lead to some concrete actions. The participants were advised that at the end of the first day there would be a brainstorming session to start the thinking about these big challenges in different sectors. Breakout groups in the afternoon of second day would contribute ideas on what could be done. There would be many topics presented, but three areas would be identified to focus on in the breakout groups. Groups would be asked to focus on:  What are the issues?  What can be done about them?  What are the different entry points to be able to do something about it?  How do you mobilize stakeholder awareness of what has to be done?  How do you develop concrete objectives?  How do you mobilize actions towards reaching objectives?  How do you monitor and evaluate so that things can be adjusted? Prof. Dahlman reiterated that their role was that of facilitators and that the real work is to be done by the participants. He challenged persons to develop a process for continuity, as many issues are large and would required focused action. He reminded that the participants are the ones who knew the reality, problems and constraints in the country, but more importantly the key entry points to exploit, in order to promote positive virtuous cycles that can make a difference.
  11. 11. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 10 Address and Official Opening of Conference - The Most Honourable Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, ON, GCMG, OJ The Most Honourable Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, ON, GCMG, OJ, in his address, indicated that the Conference was taking place at a strategic point in Jamaica’s efforts to stimulate growth and to reposition itself within the global economy. The Conference was also taking place at a time when other developments in the country suggest that growth is now the expected policy outcome of all these initiatives. He expressed the hope that the outcomes of the conference would influence the policy direction that will be chosen to achieve the intended growth objectives for the country. The underlying assumption of the organisers of the conference, however, was that by adopting an appropriate set of strategies, the country would be able to overcome those deficiencies that have combined to place Jamaica at 95 out of 139 countries according to the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2010/2011. He indicated that in fact all Caribbean countries had declined in their rankings and that this presented a sobering reason for the deliberations of the Conference. He expressed his hope that at the end of the Conference there would be some element of the deliberations which could be implemented. In selecting the Conference theme, he suggested, the organisers together with the supporters from the international community, accepted that Jamaica’s future is intricately bound up with successful participation in the global Knowledge Economy. Depending on how the global Knowledge Economy was defined however, he opined, it is possible that Jamaica has always been involved. Caribbean countries and Jamaica in particular, were created as a part of the global economy, called then the colonial imperial economy, which had a centre and global positions all over the world. Jamaica did not necessarily choose to be part of this economy but was part of it by definition. He found the notion that that competitiveness is the preferred policy direction to achieve participation in the global Knowledge Economy, intriguing, as if this were so, then one would have to conclude that none of the assumptions for the Knowledge Economy or competiveness have been adopted as the working model for Jamaica, judging by the last 35 years of anemic economic growth. The timing of the Conference he suggested, also coincided with the recent announcement by the Planning Institute of Jamaica that they had developed a growth strategy, accepted by Government, for reversing Jamaica’s poor economic performance. In elaborating on the strategy, he highlighted the emphasis placed on key areas such as: Crime reduction; Asset mobilisation; Competitiveness; Public Sector Transformation; Business networks; Build and The Most Hon. Prof. Sir Kenneth Octavius Hall, ON, GCMG, OJ
  12. 12. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 11 natural environment and Urban-regional development. One central issue he emphasized is the extent to which the strategies emerging from the Conference would be compatible with, in conflict with, or at least complementary to, the new growth strategy. He also queried if the Conference would be proposing that Jamaica becomes a Knowledge based economy, or was it the assumption that it is so already and that Jamaica’s position would be enhanced by competitiveness. The assumption is that more and more countries have been embracing knowledge and innovation as policies to improve growth and competitiveness. At the core of these strategies are policies that identify, enhance, and exploit intangible assets in the areas of education, innovation, information and communication technology and the prerequisites economic and institutional regime. This new paradigm postulates that competiveness is directly connected to an interrelated set of factors, including the strength of institutions and laws, political stability, quality of infrastructure, public health, education and levels of technology and innovation. It was clear, he suggested, that from reviewing these variables that Jamaica and Caribbean countries, based on their current ranking on the competitiveness scale, will need to embark upon on a comprehensive policy agenda of innovation and transformation if they are at least hoping to reach acceptable levels of competitiveness that will assist them to participate effectively in the global economy. By listing these intangibles, he indicated, there is little connection to traditional specifications of economic growth. Competitiveness is not just about how resources are positioned, it is also about how to transform the society. This transformation takes on a new role, not just for quality of life, but also allows countries the option to be successful participants in the global economy. In concluding, he urged participants to emerge with a clear understanding of that it means to achieve success in this global knowledge economy and the importance of policymakers adopting the recommendations. In declaring the Conference open, he wished the organisers and participants well in their deliberations and expressed the hope that the Conference would be a historic one, as Jamaica emerges from its current state of uncompetitiveness.
  13. 13. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 12 PRESENTATIONS AND DISCUSSIONS DAY ONE - AM SESSION Session Chair: Prof. Neville Duncan Overview The objective of the session was to establish a shared understanding of key terms and concepts. The focus was on the importance of knowledge society, knowledge economy and competitiveness and appropriate strategies for development at this point in the 21st Century. MODULE 1.1: COMPETITIVENESS IN JAMAICA. THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE – DR. DAWN ELLIOTT Dr. Elliott looked at Jamaica’s performance over the past 200 years and framed some benchmarks around the question: “How has Jamaica fared in her ability to gain access to knowledge; to use knowledge in practical life; to contribute to new knowledge and with what impact on her competitiveness”? She defined competitiveness as a process that includes measuring, learning, communicating and reasoning; and reminds us that knowledge is simply something that is known by somebody. This means that ICT, the newest body of knowledge though important in its ability to lower the costs of doing business and to level the playing field as a result, is no better than old stocks of knowledge. All knowledge matters, and the ability of firms to be competitive in an ICT biased world is no different in many ways than before; firms must be able to use this new knowledge in ways that allow them to produce a good or service of superior quality and in some cases at lower costs than others. Producing knowledge is to discover, invent, design, implement and or to communicate. The economic potential of knowledge lowers transaction costs; influences the type and volume of economic activity and encourages competitive outcomes. Knowledge is ubiquitous and dynamic and competitiveness, shaped by formal and informal norms, is about access to knowledge stock; the uses of the knowledge and the creation of new knowledge.
  14. 14. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 13 In looking at Jamaica over time Dr. Elliott stated that Jamaica was and remains uncompetitive at all levels. The constraint is not seen as knowledge access but rather knowledge uses and knowledge creation. Knowledge Access: Country and Industry Level Indicators from the World Bank Report, showed Jamaica in 2008 with mobile penetration of 120% and internet penetration at 55.5%. There is evidence of strong knowledge access in Jamaica. The constraint however is how to encourage entrepreneurial behaviors that recognize economic payoff from competitive processes and how to pursue the changes needed to own the payoffs. Between 1929 and the 1990s literacy rates moved from 67.9% (1929); 87.0% (1980s); 87.9% (1990s). In the 1990s Secondary School enrollment reached 95% and Tertiary level was at 31%. Poor knowledge use is evidenced by weak formal school attendance with poor science and math enrollment; and low passing rates of these subjects as well as poor teacher quality. Many within the labour force have no formal examination passes and receive no on the job training; and many of the skilled and trained workers and tertiary trained are part of the outflow from Jamaica. Jamaica exhibits poor ability to use knowledge which is a critical driver of productivity and competitiveness. As a consequence of the constraints of knowledge use and knowledge creation Jamaica is faced at the industry and firm level with:  Uncompetitive national economy  Low and declining productivity ;even with growth in capital and access to skills and ICT  Low and declining growth rates and per capita incomes Jamaican firms struggle to survive globally and have start up and survival difficulties locally and regionally. As Jamaica seeks to create a platform for new knowledge there are certain non- negotiable competitive behaviors that are required.  Understanding benchmarks; o Who….is the competition, o What ….is the basis of the advantage, o Where….do you plan to go, o When….over what time  Measurement, Assessment, Process Improvement o Identify the competitive gap o Measure to close the gap o Measure the success  Devotion to be the best
  15. 15. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 14 Conclusion While ICT has joined the stock of knowledge to enter the international market there is still the need to build on the full stock of knowledge to attain competitiveness. The Jamaican Music Industry offers lessons of missed opportunities and Track and Field lessons of how to use our talents in ways that make us competitive. The Music Industry is world renowned for innovation, creativity, and one of the most productivity, in terms of music recordings per person. Despite this it remains uncompetitive, with no control over production and distribution globally and as a result modest returns have been realized. On the other hand is track and field; it demonstrates how a commitment to be the best, to provide measurements of success, and to use these measurements to drive improvements and ensure domestic, regional, and global competitiveness. MODULE 1.2: WHAT IS THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY AND SOCIETY AND HOW CAN IT HELP JAMAICA? - PROFESSOR CARL DAHLMAN Professor Dahlman commenced with definitions of Knowledge Economy and Knowledge Society:  Knowledge Economy is one in which the generation and exploitation of knowledge play the main role in growth and development  Knowledge society is a society which values the creation, dissemination and use of knowledge and has the infrastructure, physical and social and cultural to support it. In the knowledge based world the most effective use and exploitation of all types of knowledge across all activities will be critical for competitiveness, growth and improvement in welfare. Global Knowledge trends include acceleration in the creation and dissemination of knowledge; increasing globalization; increasing importance of knowledge and competitiveness increasingly based on innovation, education and skills. As competitiveness is increasingly being based on the ability to make effective use of information and technology, to reduce transaction costs and improve capacity to respond quickly to opportunities and threats and having effective logistic infrastructure to reach market; there is increased attention across countries to:  Improving overall business environment  Improving education system  Improving information infrastructure  Improving physical and logistical infrastructure
  16. 16. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 15 The new global challenges that have emerged include:  Energy  Environment and climate change  Inflation and Food Security  The great contraction of 2008/2009  Increasing inequality  Global uncertainty and global restructuring  Employment The implications for Knowledge Economy Strategies indicate that countries need to increase their elasticity of response flexibility to react to rapidly changing internal and external circumstances. The countries’ key areas would be improving economic and institutional regimes, including governance, capital, social safety nets and investment climate; as well as improving education and training through quality, relevance and lifelong learning. Other implications for Knowledge Economy Strategies include the strategic use of ICT and enhancing the innovation capability by tapping into the Global Knowledge and adapt to local use to create new and relevant knowledge. Knowledge Economy is equivalent to people with knowledge. Effective strategies make a difference and include Analysis, vision, planning, implementation as well as monitoring evaluation and adjustment. The SWOT analysis for Jamaica indicates opportunities:  To use ICT to overcome constraints to size and distance  To invest in education and enhance human resource  To leverage knowledge to overcome physical constraints  To draw on the Diaspora  To develop service industries e.g. tourism and creative industries In concluding his presentation Professor Dahlman indicated that the coordinated collaborative role of the stakeholders; Government, Businesses, Academia and Civil Society would be the catalyst to bring the opportunities to reality.
  17. 17. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 16 MODULE 1.3: KNOWLEDGE – BASED DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES. LESSONS FROM THE GLOBAL EXPERIENCE- DR. JEAN-ERIC AUBERT Dr. Aubert posited that Knowledge-based development strategies are built on four pillars:  Education  ICT  Innovation  High quality business environment The knowledge economy based development countries, Finland, Singapore and South Korea were mentioned as possessing the features of the four pillars. There are countries , on their way to knowledge economy status that focus on only one or two of the pillars while neglecting the others. Usually the focus is on ICT and the neglected pillar is education. There are some critical attitudes shown by countries that are success stories in the knowledge economy. These are a strong sense of identity and culture; ambition; mobilization and speed. The two main strategic dimensions of successful knowledge economy based development are the societal strategy and the industrial strategy.  Highlights of the societal strategy are the building on cultural specificities and creating a climate of trust.  The industrial strategy builds on the natural resources and improving on the sophistication of the industrial ladder. The scaling up and time line for creating a virtuous cycle has an agenda which spans from an immediate to medium term to long term. The pilot projects are on the immediate agenda which then scale up to a critical mass of projects in the medium term. Initiatives from the top down and from the bottom up will impact on the projects after the scaling up and during the medium term agenda. While moving full force with the agenda will result over the long term with the adoption of major reforms and institutional changes. There are however some challenges and problematic evolutions to the Knowledge economy based development strategies.  There is the risk of over confidence which leads to lack of control and or speculation.  There is tension within the society due to inequality; rich and poor; highly qualified and poorly qualified  There are difficulties to overcome certain cultural features which were advantageous in the past but burdensome in the new challenges.
  18. 18. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 17 Jamaica is facing a knowledge based transformation opportunity and there are some key steps to be taken to capitalize on the opportunity. Transformation opportunities are set in understanding the issues; building a trust based society with strong and positive identity; as well as possessing collective vision, leadership and exploitable resources. For Jamaica to progress along the knowledge economy development path Jamaica will need to address some key steps such as:  Overcoming individualism and silos at all levels and gathering leadership.  Promoting innovative programmes to create wealth, self confidence and jobs.  Programmes such as inner cities renewal, ICT, creative industries, clusters with linkages e.g. tourism and agriculture, may be opportunities to reap some low hanging fruits.  Piloting socio-political initiatives to transform and build a trust based society through education, social protection and fighting corruption and crime.  Materialising the vision through continuous measurement and evaluation and sharing the outcomes by publicising through all media sources. The government has a great role in knowledge economy based development. Dr. Aubert provided a powerful analogy to that of gardening. Government’s role was presented as “gardening” innovation which includes functions of watering, weeding and nurturing.  By watering, the Government will be providing support for the innovation  By weeding, the Government will be addressing deregulation as well as competition  By nurturing, the Government will be supporting research, education and information
  19. 19. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 18 MODULE 1.4: WHAT IS COMPETITIVENESS? - MR. KENNETH HYNES Mr. Hynes commenced by stating that firms compete, not nations. Competitiveness he went on to say includes innovation and an understanding of customer needs. Customer needs can be identified through customer research. Some observations of competitiveness reveal that the issue is a preeminent one in every nation and to upgrade the export competitiveness of nations there is the need for shared understanding of competitiveness within the nation. Competitiveness is not simply about the exchange rate being favourable or having a positive balance of trade, nor is it about the industrial subsidies or low inflation rate. The definition used in this presentation was that competitiveness is the productivity with which resources are deployed. The resources include human resources, capital and physical assets. As competitiveness is hinged on the productive deployment of resources, it is the industry sector and firms within the sector that compete, not nations. Competitiveness was also stated as the ability to offer goods and services that meet quality standards locally and internationally at competitive prices and provide adequate returns on the resources that were employed or consumed in producing that goods or service. Mr. Hynes then used the Porter Diamond to locate competitiveness within the interplay of demand conditions, the behavior of the firm in investing in and supplying these demands, the factor conditions and the related and supporting industries. In the short term, productivity gains may be improved with improvement in government policy, by upgrading the factor conditions and by better use of technology. In the long run it is innovation which is the biggest determinant of competitiveness, with innovation being the ability of firms to design and develop cutting edge products and processes. Innovative firms have certain traits for which they are identified. These firms have high research and development intensity, have high investment in human capital and have their orientation towards export of their goods and services. These firms which display competitiveness have an understanding of customer needs and are capable of having answers to questions of what is being sold to whom; why do the customers buy from their firm and not another competing firm; as well as what prevents the competitors from imitating the goods and services of the firm and capturing the best customers away from the firm. From the innovative capacity which has its beginnings in market research, firms can achieve
  20. 20. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 19 competitiveness improvement through productivity growth. The ultimate reality of this competitiveness in firms is prosperity. There are some seven forms of capital which combine and contribute to the stock of wealth of firms and the wealth of nations and these forms of capital can be categorized a social capital and physical capital. Social capital includes cultural capital, human capital, knowledge capital and institutional capital. Elements of cultural capital may be represented through mental mores, norms and tangible articulation, with examples of attitude, acceptable behavior, language and music. Human capital takes into consideration the whole human being, mental and physical, as well as education and training. The elements of knowledge capital include data, concepts and generation of insights. Institutional capital can be seen through good clean governance with transparency and also having a justice system providing predictable regulations. The presence of connective organizations such as chambers of commerce and unions is another element of institutional capital. Within the physical capital forms there are financial capital, man-made capital and national endowments. Financial capital includes wealth in the private and public domain and is embodied in the financial systems. Public wealth for example is the taxes and duties and macroeconomic stability of a nation. Man-made capital of transportation through roads and ports, of power through electric grids and generation capacity, of water distribution and sewage disposal through pipelines and pumping stations form part of the physical capital. The other physical capital is natural endowment. Raw material such as primary agriculture, mineral or petroleum is an element of natural endowment. Environmental issues and climate and location are some other representative elements of the physical capital of natural endowment. All these forms of capital are utilized in the build out of competitiveness and for competitiveness improvement. As competitiveness was defined as the productivity with which resources are deployed, then improvement in competitiveness should reflect improvement in productivity or productivity growth that should scale up to prosperity.
  21. 21. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 20 MODULE 1.5: ENHANCING ENTERPRISE COMPETITIVENESS THROUGH STRATEGY AND EFFICIENCY - DR. DENSIL WILLIAMS Dr. Williams commenced his presentation by looking at competitiveness at the national level and opined that if competitiveness is viewed through the lens of productivity improvement instead of competition, then the nation status can achieve competitiveness and this could be seen as a non zero-sum game. He then posed the question, if the same could be said to be true at the firm level. Firm level competitiveness was then reviewed and found to be multifaceted. Competitiveness at the firm level is observed when the enterprise displays the ability to export without preferential treatment and the ability, using local talents and skills, to engage foreign direct investment.
  22. 22. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 21 Additionally, the ability to operate at international standards is a sign of competitiveness at the firm level. Enterprises that have the ability to earn above average returns while competing with indigenous enterprises in the free market and have the ability to get things right, are noted as displaying competitiveness at the firm level. There are some common competitive drivers for firms in the Caribbean and Dr. Williams used examples of companies in Jamaica in his presentation for this segment. For the competitive driver of Effective Risk Management, with highly focused activities and with diversification to offset threats, references were made to BNS (Scotia Bank) and Grace respectively. Another competitive driver is the workplace transformation and upgrade of Human Resources and the example of Jamaica Broilers Group was given, with up skilling and appropriate regard to its training as their focus. SuperPlus a local supermarket chain was able to garner good knowledge of the industry and had a broader world view of the enterprise and was able to benchmark against international competition. Caribbean firms possessing competitive drivers focus on innovation, marketing, technology and quality.  Sandals Hotels and Superclubs focus on quality to keep their service competitive.  The marketing thrust employed by Courts in its turnaround, is another competitive driver.  Lasco is innovative in the positioning of its soy-based drink.  Wray & Nephew Ltd., makers of Jamaican rum, has earned the internationally accepted mark of quality through its International Standard Organisation (ISO) certification.  At the company Grace Kennedy, corporate leadership is at the helm and is central to leading change in the organisation The five common competitiveness drivers in Caribbean firms are:  Attention to Risk Management  Workplace Transformation  Benchmark against international competition  Focus on Innovative Marketing Technology and quality  Corporate Leadership With regard to some generic competitive strategies, Dr. Williams looked at where the Caribbean firms should be located and used a 2 x 2 matrix to set out Strategic Advantages and Strategic Target to illustrate the competitive strategies of Cost Leadership, Differentiation (Uniqueness) with Cost Focus and Focused Differentiation.
  23. 23. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 22 Strategic Advantage LOW COST DIFFERENTIATION (Uniqueness) StrategicTarget Broad (Industry Wide) Cost Leadership Differentiation Narrow (Particular Segment) Cost Focus Focused Differentiation Dr. Williams in his use of the 2 x 2 matrix, opined that the Caribbean enterprises should be situated in the focused differentiation quadrant where the strategic advantage is high and the strategic target is narrow and there is a particular segment to be targeted. With each strategy there are risks. The risks that may occur from any of the strategic choices identified and must be guarded against include:  How can the strategy be sustained when: o Technological change is fast paced and can easily nullify investment and learning of recent past o Evolution of industry can erode right strategic value and can weaken the defences against the competition. The Value chain analysis was used by Dr. Williams to highlight the operational efficiency of competitiveness of firms where the primary activities of the production of goods and services aided with the support activities – human, financial sourcing and technology can lead to competitive advantage and profit margin. To maintain competitive advantage, efficiency and innovation, all areas of the value chain, must be operated efficiently. Efficiency must be utilised to create greater value, to lower cost and to generate quality output. Dr. Williams then offered some key points to attaining operational efficiency:
  24. 24. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 23  Review the current situation against the industry standards  Optimise the business process. Reduce time to market – Business Process Re- engineering (BPR) is a suggested process  Upgrade assets to current industry standards. This helps to lower operational cost  Modernise business thinking o Create new opportunities for outsourcing o share production capabilities  Enhance dynamic efficiency by having a rapid response to new development in the industry while addressing the unique operational challenges. In conclusion, Dr. Williams stated that enterprise competitiveness requires a combination of efficiency and good strategy and an understanding of the industry structure in which the firm is located. The Porter’s five (5) forces model of industry competitiveness was used as a framework for which firms can better understand their industry. DISCUSSIONS ON MODULES 1.1-1.5 The discussion centred around some key themes: Collaboration vs. Competitiveness  There was consensus that a high degree of collaboration is a precondition for competitiveness. One is not inconsistent with the other.  Collaboration internationally can lead to competitiveness. Collaboration can result in lower costs, lower risks and allow access to expertise.  Collaboration is an issue in Jamaica, linked to the factor of trust. People and culture  Jamaicans were characterised as transgressive people, unable to stick to rules and time.  There is a socio-historic factor which has not been studied but which needs to be. This trait is impacting on getting business done, due to the negative approach to work at all levels. The informal norms that have been practised from slavery until now are still in play.  There is however no country in the world that has taken this type of look at itself and Jamaica would be the first if this were to be achieved. This study can be done at the firm level or the macro level.
  25. 25. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 24  An opposing view expressed was that there was no special transgressive trait belonging to Jamaicans, rather if the incentive structure allows persons to get away with breaking the rules, then they will.  Studies have shown that those countries that adhere to the rule of law are more competitive and do better economically.  The issue of gender emerged in terms of how women are treated and the resultant lack of leadership. An alternative view was expressed in this regard, as Jamaica’s gender issue may be in fact male marginalisation, which is different from many other countries. Women are in fact far more skilled than the men.  The issue of trust is a major one in the society.  Attitude of workers is critical. If workers are not motivated and disciplined then the desired output cannot be achieved. Macro vs. Micro levels  Will companies succeed despite the macro economic issues  There is a strong interaction between the macro and micro, but the split between the two is not an artificial one. They have to work in tandem.  There needs to be collaboration between government and the private sector  It is worthwhile to examine success stories with different models, as even in challenging macro environments you have companies doing well. Market capitalism vs. Protectionism  If we start viewing competitiveness as a zero sum game, then barriers will be erected. This will distort trade, which results in inefficiency  What should be the role of government. Should government be the one who control the commanding heights of the economy or should government set the framework in which the owners of the commanding heights of the economy operate
  26. 26. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 25 DAY ONE – PM SESSION Session Chair: Dr. Densil Williams Overview This session reviewed specific Knowledge Industries and Sectors in the Jamaican economy. MODULE 2.1: REVIEW OF THE ICT SECTOR IN JAMAICA – PROF. EVAN DUGGAN Basing his introduction on a book called “Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy” by Raghuram G. Rajan, Professor Duggan noted that Jamaica has a “network of fault lines” of economic, social and environmental vulnerabilities. There is a paradox that whereas there is growing optimism that ICTs can assist in building resilience to vulnerabilities in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the vulnerabilities themselves place burdens on the capability of SIDS to employ ICTs effectively and make it sometimes impossible to find the remedies we seek. ICT in Jamaica must be located within the global context and the watershed events in the history of ICT. Major highlights were: the introduction of the ABC computer in 1937; the contribution of the computer architecture by John Von Neumann, which, to this day, is the basis of computer design; the seminal paper by Grace Hopper that provided the impetus for computer programming and information systems; the development of the microprocessor (1968) and the production of the PC by IBM in 1981. These all prompted Time Magazine’s choice of the electronic computer as machine of the year instead of “person of the year”, in 1982. Further developments include (1) digitization which gave the impetus to the convergence of computing and communications technologies and the formulation of standards and protocols which allowed seamless communication between (even incompatible) computers (2) miniaturization (3) the creation of the internet (started in 1969) and then the world-wide web. The cascade of ICT enabled innovations, dramatic improvement in price performance ratios and ubiquity of ICT then ushered in the digital economy and the knowledge society. Implications of the digital economy  Markets have become more competitive,  Customers are more discriminating, more information and choice,
  27. 27. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 26  New business models have evolved which facilitate global market and create opportunities for market efficiencies, real time electronic relationships and shared processes (mass customization, co-opetition (cooperative competition)) There have several paradigm shifts in ICTs.  In terms of organizational impact, there has been a move from an internal focus on cost and efficiency, toward an external focus with new IT enabling business models.  In the past there have been distinct branches of computing studies (a) Computer Engineering (b) Computer Science and (c) Information Systems (application of ICT to the solution of business problems). For a long time we have focussed on computer science and only in recent times have we had Information Systems in business schools. This has impacted on our current situation and ability to satisfy our software needs and to participate in software exporting economy. Global ICT Performance Perspectives  Moore’s cost performance prediction accurately stated that, the power of integrated circuits would double every year for the same cost.  Fred Brooks in “No Silver Bullets, The Accidents and Essence of Software Engineering”, castigated the IS community for not taking advantage of the strides in computer science and engineering to establish effective organizational systems. This notion, which existed even before Brooks’ seminal work, had been dubbed the IS paradox and has persisted for a long time.  The Productivity Paradox (first insinuated by Robert Solow) highlighted the apparent disparity between the prevalence of information technology and the absence of its effects in the macroeconomic statistics, but this may have to do with how we measure benefits from the application of IT. The mere investment in ICT will not in and of itself produce benefits; effective use is considered a first order benefit and other factors that can mediate the realization of benefit include organizational capability, deployment effectiveness and change management. The Jamaican situation Jamaica has had positive experiences in some regards. For example, the liberalization of the telecommunications sector created competition and drove down prices and led to improved services. Similarly, the auctioning of the radio frequency spectrum and legislation to facilitate secure electronic transactions provided a useful climate for innovation. Over past years, much use has been made of GIS systems to combine spatial and location data to help us to make
  28. 28. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 27 better decisions and there have also been some notable strides in the area of e-government. However, developments such as the creation of the Central Information Technology Office (CITO) and the development of the National ICT Strategy have not fulfilled their good intentions. Some institution (like CITO) with the overarching responsibility for the ownership of the provision and implementation of the national ICT strategy needs to be properly resourced and given the requisite authority to pursue activities to provide the impetus to apply technology; not merely to access and use acquired technology. Acquired innovations are useful and necessary, but real transformational benefits will only come from indigenous innovation. The ICT Strategic Plan (2006, Duggan, Dunn) has remained on the shelf. Professor Duggan noted that Jamaica kept pace with the best in Information Technology up to mid 1980s, after which many organizations dismantled their mainframe environments for a network of, and in some cases a group of unconnected, personal computers. The country has never recovered from the loss of human capital and familiarity with software production methods. Given the flight of human and economic capital, coupled with inadequate tertiary training in the area, Jamaica now relies on outsourcing and commercial off the shelf software. The absence of indigenous software is notable and it is reported that the English speaking Caribbean is the only regional block that does not have a significant presence in the software export market. Yet, like most developing countries, Jamaica staked a great deal of optimism on ICT as catalytic in building resilience to well known vulnerabilities. The frustration of not realizing some of the sought benefits has created a somewhat over focus on the digital divide and consequently on improving our ranking on the Network Readiness Index. Perceptions of ICT and Competitiveness in Jamaica While the focus on the digital divide is fairly new, the phenomenon has been with us for some time. For example, we make very little use of Business Intelligence (Data Warehousing, Data Mining, and Business Analytics), Knowledge Management Systems, Customer Relationship Management Systems, Intelligent Systems, and the concept of disintermediation (using ICT to remove intermediaries in order to reduce bureaucracy and corruption and increase efficiency and transparency). While these are not as consequential Internet-based innovations, they allow global competitors to outperform us. The digital divide has two elements - the external and the internal divide; both are problematic. The external divide is problematic because it permits the progressive encroachment of “digitally rich” nations whose competitive reach has now extended into commercial terrains that were once our exclusive purview and we do not have the capacity to reciprocate effectively. The
  29. 29. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 28 internal divide permits entire sections of the society to be excluded from ICT-enabled opportunities for education and social mobility. In response, Jamaica has been building up ICT infrastructure of acquired innovations. However, the application of ICT to effect economic and social transformation, demands indigenous innovations; that is, maximally employing our stock of acquired innovations to generate solutions to our peculiar problems. In this regard, readiness is not a surrogate for effectiveness. Recommendations In the short term:  Focus on MDGs and use the acquired stock of ICT to do this  The Strategic Roadmap developed in the Dunn & Duggan ICT Strategy 2006 is still useful for implementing ICT in Jamaica.  Implement ICT governance – at the national level  Engage in ICT environmental scanning In the Longer term:  Focus on digital maturity effectiveness instead of “readiness” that is maximally employ the stock of acquired ICT to generate indigenous innovations to solve problems of national importance, and then eventually to innovate and alter the ICT producer/consumer ratio  Develop human capital to build the ICT industry, to pursue indigenous innovation  Assist SMEs to utilize ICTs effectively  Participate in the global software market MODULE 2.2: ENABLING THE KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY IN JAMAICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: THE ROLE OF CAPACITY-BUILDING IN DEVELOPMENT – PROF. HOPETON DUNN Professor Dunn’s presentation consisted of two parts: Part 1: Some thoughts on the knowledge society and the role of capacity building. Part 2: Selected outcomes of Recent Caribbean ICT Indicators and Broadband survey. Noting that knowledge is contextual, cultural, dynamic and evolving, Professor Dunn observed that the Information society is not based simply on technology. Drivers of knowledge differ from era to era and continue to vary through time. He noted that there needs to be a more dynamic notion of knowledge. The concept of knowledge societies covers political, economic, ideological and ethical aspects of society.
  30. 30. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 29 Capacity building is crucial to the success of building the knowledge society. This knowledge society should be inclusive and span a wide range of social and economic groupings. That leads to a process of building a knowledge society based on a highly educated workforce, with a capacity for applied knowledge from within and outside of formal schooling. Knowledge must be accessible, in the context of geographic location, must be affordable and address varying levels of abilities, skills and interest. The present educational system in Jamaica privileges grammar schooling to a large extent, while the world is developing a broader approach, much of which is based on technology. Capacity building therefore has a multi dimensional nature including a geographic dimension (not just urban centres), distributional equity dimension (share the network in inner city areas) and the disability dimension (tapping the talent of the variably able). Key Observations:  Education remains a foundation requirement for knowledge society.  Ensure availability of learning tools to stimulate empowerment of people.  Privilege the ideas of young people and capture the ideas of the digital 'natives' and not just those of the so-called digital 'migrant'.  Seek to invest in innovation and disrupt old knowledge systems in order to build new ones. For example, the notion of mobility and the mobile phone as a disruptive technology transforms access to knowledge to a more dynamic resource available any time and at any place. This has enabled a lot of leapfrogging across pre-existing systems and social groups which can help to empower people.  Resourcing the knowledge society is an important challenge.  Public private partnerships are crucial but government must be leaders in use as well as in the setting of the framework through public policies and strategy.  The Universal Access Fund in Jamaica has collected approximately J$7 billion over the last five years. There is need for better deployment and more repurposing of these resources to help to grow the knowledge society beyond the walls of the school system and into the communities.  The LIME/FLOW partnership ($543M) is encouraging but also one to be examined in terms of the feasibility in targeting just schools. We need to be going into the wider community and seek to use the technology for development among the youth.  The role of research and greater international collaboration in this area is crucial. The academy should be able to provide indigenous research, benchmarked against international partners while placing an emphasis on promoting evidence based decision making.
  31. 31. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 30 Highlights of the Findings of the Caribbean ICT and Broadband Survey The study conducted by the Telecommunications Policy and Management (TPM) Programme of the Mona School of Business, UWI, on broadband usage and ICT Indicators in Jamaica was recently completed. This was done under Prof. Dunn's leadership, in association with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), among other partners. The respondents represent an adequate and diverse base for analysis. The dimensions of analysis include location (Kingston Metropolitan Area, Other Urban Centres, Rural and National), age range (10 years and older), gender and diverse occupational categories. Some of the findings were as follows:  15.6% of households have internet access at home, meaning that 84% of homes are without home-based internet access.  24% of households have computer access at home, indicating that 76% of homes do not have dedicated computers.  Among internet non-users, 32.4% of respondents indicated the high cost of equipment as the main inhibitor (access), 23.9% indicated no need or interest (pointing to the need for public education). Other reasons include the high cost of internet service, the lack of availability of the service in certain areas and a lack of skill in using the necessary equipment, (an indicator of the need for more widespread training).  Urban centres (KMA and Other Urban Centres) saw the majority of internet usage (60%) (continuing the rural/urban digital divide), while more females (53%) used the internet when compared with males.  Among internet users, 43% used the internet at home, 36.6% at place of education, 28.4% at another person’s home, 22.5% at their workplace and 18% at a commercial internet facility. These data indicate the need for a strategy to build capacity in the home in addition to other spaces. Access via mobile devices can present limitations because of the user interface issues such as the small size of the screen and keyboard.  In terms of internet activities, 76.9% of respondents used the internet to send/receive emails, while 71.7% used it for social networking, formal education and learning.  52.6% of internet users had a fixed broadband connection, with 33.4% having access to mobile broadband.  74.5% of respondents have heard of accessing the internet via the mobile telephone, but have never used it. Although this is a growing trend, the survey showed that it was still not in widespread use in Jamaica.  Household monthly expenditure for Internet service peaked between $2001 - $4200 per month.
  32. 32. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 31  As with internet usage, computer usage is higher among females (54.1%) and in urban areas (58.9%), again reaffirming the divides in terms of location and gender. Conclusions: The data suggests lower than desirable levels of access and continuation of the digital divide in Jamaica. These disappointing trends were consistent with the latest ICT Readiness Index produced by the World Economic Forum and which saw Jamaica tumbling several places in comparison to past performance and in relation to regional and global comparators. To ensure regional and global competitiveness, Jamaica will need to employ better strategic ICT planning and implementation in order to reap the potential benefits from the emerging new digital economy whose 'sunrise' sectors can supplement or substitute for the older sunset industries in the knowledge economy of the region. MODULE 2.3: REVIEW OF THE HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM SECTOR IN JAMAICA – DR. CAROLYN HAYLE Dr. Hayle began by noting that tourism is big business and is more than accommodation. The World Trade Organization estimated over 880 million international travellers in 2009 yielding US$900 billion. The Caribbean Region gets a small percentage of the international travel, but has been doing well. For Jamaica, data for 2010 shows arrivals of 2.8 million from the main source markets of USA, UK, EU and Japan, with US$1.975 in earnings. The importance of the source market is that tourism is usually based on foreign policy. An examination of the history of Jamaican tourism industry shows that it began with the London Trade Exhibition of 1851 and the consequent plans to host the 1891 Exhibition in Kingston. The development of the hotel industry was encouraged which would support the exhibition. Tourism is predicated on the nature of the accommodation sector. The first laws to support Tourism were passed in 1890 also to facilitate the trade exhibition. Over the years, Tourism continued to be driven by externalities, expanding into villa rentals and resort cottages with the onset of World War 2. These events drove the development of Montego Bay and Negril in the 1970s. Against this background, there was the development of National Tourism Organizations (NTOs) in Jamaica. The purpose of the Tourism organizations in Jamaica and the Caribbean is only now being defined. This is in contrast to other countries such as France where the tourism was a strategic choice and NTOs had a clearly defined purpose and structure. Dr. Hayle suggested that the Caribbean “happened upon tourism” and its development closely patterns colonialism
  33. 33. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 32 and dependency. Research shows that this type of tourism was driven by trade which focussed on the enrichment of the generating markets rather than the needs of the local market. Gradually, Tourism moved from its focus as an outcome of trade to the actual industry. Starting with the Tourist Trade Development Board in 1922, a number of organizations/agencies have been created including the Ministry of Tourism in 1980 and the Tourism Product Development Company in 1996. With these organizations and agencies came the development of the legislative framework, including inter- alia, the Tourism Board Act, Hotel Incentive Act and Bath and Spas Act, River Rafting Authority Act and regulations such as the Travel Agency and Law Regulations and the Small Hotel Incentive Grant. In addition to the public sector structures, there are private sector institutional structure such as the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association. Why Tourism? Development is a western concept based on consumerism (Telfer and Sharpley 2002). Tourism by itself does not contribute to economic development, but it is a fully developed supply chain behind tourism that does. Consumerism is a driver for this development. Development is based on strategic choices by the Government and is based on a focus on the unique circumstances and vision of individual countries. It is achieved within the context of International Trade and Regulations which is then broken down to the national Regulatory Framework and driven through a National Planning Strategy. Tourism in Jamaica is based on a strategic choice by the Government of Jamaica and it is one of the choices of the Vision 2030 which seeks to “realize a vision of an inclusive, world class, distinctly Jamaican industry that is a major contributor to socio-economic and cultural development....” Linkage is critical. The challenge Dr. Hayle noted, is how to link this vision with the rest of the economy. She also noted that the focus remains on the tourism industry and not the tourism system, which consists of the generating market and the transit route which is the global distribution systems including the ICT. We have failed in not using research to craft our own destination and the industry. The success of the strategic choice can be influenced by Doxey’s Irritation Index. When tourism is introduced to a country for the first time, everyone is excited by the prospects which over time transforms to other attitudes, apathy, annoyance and antagonism. At this last stage, the strategic choice will fail. Within this context, possible roles for the NTOs include economic, environmental and social. Jamaica is focussing on all the elements for sustainable results. How do they interconnect?
  34. 34. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 33 The tourism industry is composed of 8 sectors, Adventure, Travel Trade, Food and Beverage, Accommodation, Attractions, Events and Conferences, Tourism Services and Transportation. Most of focus is on the hospitality sector (food and beverage and accommodation), but some of the others are more lucrative. An examination of the elements of the Global Competitiveness Index for tourism shows that many of these are not driven by tourism. Therefore, there needs to be a strong linkage with these areas since they are used to measure tourism performance itself. This requires an integrated approach to infrastructure and management of all processes. It was noted that, based on the Global Competitiveness Index, culture and natural resources do not fall under the tourism strategy, but are integral to its performance. Management of Vision 2030 therefore needs to be cohesive and integrated. Dr. Hayle discussed the issue of the Creative Industries which presents many important opportunities as it encompasses a Caribbean lifestyle (music, fashion, visual and performing arts, sports, food etc). The strategy is to create a lifestyle that can be used as a platform to target other markets with similar lifestyles. Selection of Choices Strategic choices are influenced by underlying issues of ownership, equity, structures and systems. In the 1980s, most of properties were Jamaican owned and the leakage was lower than it is now. Foreign direct investment and globalization use a vertical growth strategy as their business model, influenced by transnationals. In response, Jamaica has created the events strategy which is a horizontal growth strategy. Events are the drivers of “heads to beds.” With support from the Tourism Enhancement Fund, money ($1M) is used to drive events in sports, music, heritage, literary arts etc. The supply chain behind these events is also supported through this strategy. A similar strategy is needed for community tourism which is small business management using the 8 sectors of tourism to capture the supply chain. Dr. Hayle noted that Jamaica has failed in these areas because of the tendency to operate in silos and general lack of accountability. Core ministries which support Tourism are Education and Environment. Primary infrastructure is critical and other ministries and agencies provide secondary support. The Caribbean has unique products (people, food, heritage, culture and natural environment), all of which can be used create lifestyle products to gain competitive advantage. Tourism is a critical tool for national development, moving from the strategy to good quality service which will lead to increased visitor expenditure, improved HDI, enhanced visitor experience and eventually to repeat visitors. It was noted that Jamaica has a high rate of repeat business. This shows that understanding the generating market is critical.
  35. 35. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 34 Tourism hidden secrets  A need to focus on the tourism system instead of the industry.  Tourism is cyclical (6-7 years). There is the need therefore to build individual business/sectors that are associated with tourism, so that they can be sustained when the sector goes down. Planning for sustainable tourism Critical to this are the following:  Maximizing the multiplier effect and minimizing leakages.  Using the cluster approach (e.g. JAMPRO PSDP project).  Working on data to inform strategies – tourism satellite accounts.  Getting market intelligence.  Building trust (public/private partnership). The external trade environment and the generating markets are not clearly understood. Addressing this requires a managed process which will lead to sustainable tourism, “a management process which seeks to design implement, monitor and evaluate all aspects of tourism to ensure inter and intra-generational equity and repeated customer experiences that are based on value propositions.” MODULE 2.4: REVIEW OF THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR IN JAMAICA – DR. ANDRE GORDON Most developed countries depend on domestic agriculture to meet a variety of needs including food security, earning foreign exchange and preventing rural/urban drift. Dr. Gordon noted that Jamaica is no different and is also faced with a constantly changing environment. However, Jamaica has a relatively well developed and diverse agriculture and agribusiness sector. In the context of the current economic environment and because of growing global demand for food and fuel, a strong and competitive agricultural sector is now critical for Jamaica’s development. In the 1990s agricultural policies focused on retention of preferences for traditional crops and, as agriculture was not seen as a major driver for economic growth, it was de-emphasised. In the post 2004 period, new and more focused strategies were put in place, including specific sector strategies focused mainly on traditional crops such as citrus, banana and coffee. An assessment of Jamaica’s agricultural policies by CARICOM Regional Transformation Project (2005) found that policy measures were non-specific, raised the possible danger of the policies
  36. 36. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 35 preventing commodities from achieving their potential and recommended the formulation of more detailed strategies for some identified commodities. Issues and challenges identified in current agricultural policy include declining competitiveness, limited application of modern technology, limited resources, an aging workforce, gaps in key infrastructure, loss of agricultural land to housing and environmental issues. The overall strategy is to contribute to growth and development through inter alia, employment creation, increased export earnings, stabilization, restoring lost productivity, development of agri- industry, involving youth in agriculture and promoting integrated rural development. Dr. Gordon presented data on performance trends in agriculture.  For traditional crops, there have been declines in bananas and coffee and increases in citrus and cocoa (though not at previous levels).  Data (2008) shows no substantial change in land use patterns.  The Crop Production Index shows relatively low production between 1968-1992, increasing in the 1990s, but now declining.  Domestic Food production increased in the 1990s but has been trending down, showing some recovery over the last few years.  Economically active population in agriculture has been declining since 1980.  Value added per worker was highest in the period of greatest economic turmoil (1995- 1997, declining in 1998.  Livestock sector has grown.  Use of fertilizer/hectare of arable land is much lower than what it used to be, representing a challenge and an opportunity.  Age distribution of Jamaican farmers (2002) shows more than 70% of farmers are below the age of 50 with an increasing percentage below the age of 30. This shows that younger people had started to go into agriculture.  In terms of export value of selected traditional products, despite increased production, the value of exports are down, with the exception of rum.  Value of nontraditional exports – Yam exports have grown significantly, ackee, fish, baked products, juice and sauces have been doing well and all are supported by domestic agriculture production,  There are a few crops which have shown increases, but in general there has not been significant growth. Given the current status of the agricultural sector, there is the need to focus on building sustainable global competitiveness by having the right information, understanding what is happening and applying the available technology. Dr. Gordon defined competitiveness as
  37. 37. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 36 “Developing the capacity and systems to deliver goods and services, as, when and where needed, in the desired quantity and at the expected level of quality to discerning customers willing to pay a price for them that is profitable to the business.” There is the need to develop world class technology in a practical manner that is respectful of culture, people, organization and countries involved, that is, the knowledge circle. In focusing on information generation, access and use, it is noted that a key objective is to earn foreign exchange. However, Dr. Gordon pointed out that in some instances Jamaica was not exporting very smartly. For example, most exports go to New York which has the largest population, but was in the middle in terms of the population of West Indians or persons pre- disposed to buying our products. Jamaica continues to compete on price, rather than using targeted marketing. There is information on the fastest growing sectors, including medicinal and pharmaceutical products, the Jamaica EU profile shows growth and declining markets. Why do the policies not utilize such information? Key Global Trend  Food safety. Microorganisms are a reality which kills any brand. Bad press kills a brand. We need to understand how integrated the knowledge economy is. In January 2011 The Food Safety Modernization Act was passed in USA which gives the US government the right to inspect everything exported to their markets, including factories in overseas territories. This means that while domestic regulations are important, those of the global markets are far more so. There is significant need to implement food safety standards throughout the agricultural system in Jamaica. Application of technology The main requirements are knowledge-based soft technologies, a combination of systems technologies, specifically tailored, requiring highly competent experienced practitioners, incorporation of lessons learned and more people-oriented, less capital intensive approaches. The focus is best applied in clusters or value chains and should be based on problem solving, gaining and maintaining market access and systems implementation. These build competitive advantage and create differentiation in the market. Examples of Knowledge Application  The case for ackee exports required convincing persons that we understood the science behind the fruit and could implement food safety systems. This was done sensitive to cultural practices and this has led to a sustained transformation of the sector, allowing access to a previously closed market. By applying knowledge technologies, required changes are possible.
  38. 38. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 37  The case of the Jamaica Business Recovery Programme. This required building the value chain by understanding the buyer-producer relationship as an enterprise and using soft technologies as a tool for achieving objectives. Highly knowledge intensive technologies were required. The programme provided complete production details, leading to better yields and quality and many young people saw agriculture as a business and a career. This has formed the basis for technology led agriculture being practiced in Jamaica today. Ultimately Dr. Gordon noted that there is the need to change the nature of the game, starting with the objective, planning without limitations and ignoring the rules of play. If agriculture is to make a difference in Jamaica, there needs to be excellence, defined as “ the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.” DISCUSSIONS ON MODULES 2.1-2.4 The ICT Sector  On the issue of open clouds technology as a real replacement for mainframe technology, Professor Duggan remarked that it was available and used by some, though maybe not as well known. For example, the Centre of Excellence, MSB focuses on using methods such as cloud computing to assist SMEs.  The issue of ICT governance was raised and it was opined that there is no standard and leadership of how to employ ICT service management, that is, how to get service from the technology. In response, Professor Duggan noted that IT governance is focussed on enterprise governance at the corporate level. At the corporate level, governance is required to get benefits from investments, minimize the risks while aligning corporate strategies with IT strategies and measuring and managing performance. The same strategy has to be applied at the national level. In Jamaica, given the vulnerabilities such as, economic dependence on FDI and crime and corruption, we need to focus on leveraging investments in ICTs for development. It was noted that the CITO was never properly resourced and never had the status to provide the right governance structure to ensure that technology is applied for the benefit of the country.  Professor Dunn agreed that Jamaica has an inconsistent, almost absent ICT governance, however the problem and need is much wider. ICTs must be applied to a wide range of
  39. 39. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 38 sectors for knowledge–driven development and the hub must be in the Cabinet office where it can pervade all Ministries. However, the expertise is not available at the highest level and there is no feeling of ownership or involvement. On the other hand, it was argued that each Minister ought to drive ICT through Cabinet, instead of out of the Cabinet office. The Cabinet Office services the conjoint needs of the different Ministers and ICTs should not be pigeonholed as the purview of a particular Minister. Another point of view was that the regardless of the coordination mechanism, the important thing was for the entity to be appropriately resourced and have the stature to effectively implement the policy and that there are penalties for circumvention of authority.  Given the demographics of Jamaica (70% are 40 years and under), it was observed that young people were not invited to contribute to this and other similar dialogue. Where are the digital natives? There is the need to give the young people a voice. This needs to be taken actively on board. It was noted that we need to empower, engage and involve a new kind of learner. Many leaders in global ICTs start sub-30 years.  The concern was raised with regard to computer access in community centres. How it is distributed in terms of rural/urban areas. Is that a viable option for increasing access? Additionally, the use of wireless vis-a-vis wired access. Access in community centres ranked 5th in the order (based on the Telecommunications Survey), partly due to the availability of such centres. More centres and education about the value, can lead to increased usage. Wireless is the fastest growing form of access and so there is need for public policy to expand access in line with previous recommendations.  Generally, we have failed to recognize the value of social media. Social media can provide a real time understanding of the market which is core to competitiveness. Business and government (for connection) need to leverage social media. According to the recent MSB survey, 72 % of respondents were engaged in social media. It is now an important part of communication, endowed with business possibilities. It was noted however that technologies are important, but these will not of themselves provide transformational benefits. There is need for a coordinated national strategy which will lead to transformational development. The Agriculture Sector  What about the focus on organic and raw foods in terms of new global trends as a niche producer. There are growing markets for speciality foods, but these require systems, the soft technology, the knowledge and understanding of what the market wants. These
  40. 40. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 39 are not high volume markets, but these are niche markets which Jamaica can do well, but this requires a different level of knowledge intensity, implementation and approach.  Export volume has fallen but there is an increase in value. In expounding on the need to look at higher value chain products as a way to go as a niche producer, the strategy should be to identify what we produce now, how much we can produce based on best practices and then finding the markets which will give the best possible price. We don’t have to produce on price. We need to do the market research.  Why is the production of medical marijuana not being discussed as a means of putting money into the public purse as well as breaking the underground economy? The issue goes back to being willing to change the game in our interest and developing a strategic approach to make it happen. There is no reason why this should not be done. There are issues to do with barriers to trade. Persons have created products from marijuana, but we are not allowed into the US market. We have to know the rules of the game and change them. A similar case is that of the value- added on the tickets and the issue of taking it to the WTO. We must not be afraid due to our size.  With regard to the supposed shift in land for agriculture, to housing, it was noted that there is a propensity to complain rather than do something. Is it an issue of an absence of will rather than a real problem. Dr. Gordon noted that there has been no significant loss of land to housing, however if not careful, this can happen in the case of prime land, which is a policy issue.  Following the rise of technologies between 1995 and 1996, what has happened to aqua culture, where is the investment and why is it not taking place? There was a confluence of renewed activities at the time which reflected in the high activity. When traditional crops declined, activity fell. There is a programme with inner city areas with ornamental fish. It is about providing opportunity and shifting the paradigm. The Tourism Sector  What about health tourism? Dr. Hayle noted that Health tourism and Wellness are often confused. Wellness has potential for driving the supply chain and community based tourism. Health tourism is more lucrative. They are two important segments and we have the talent to service both in Jamaica. The value added from agriculture is important as a feeder to the tourism industry (wellness and health tourism). We need to look at the value added chain in terms of pharmaceuticals and nutriceuticals.
  41. 41. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 40 JAMPRO’s focus on a wellness cluster has led to development of shampoos and soaps which are marketed through the hotels.  On the matter of the observation that the all inclusive concept does not support the supply chain, it was noted that all inclusive is a marketing strategy not a product. It does work; e.g. an all inclusive hotel has a company which sells tours to the hotel. Additionally, events like Jazz and Blues are sold as an all inclusive concept. Other issues  In terms of barriers to trade, there is an issue of reciprocity re USA policy. However, Dr. Gordon noted that we have spent too long complaining about what the world is doing to us rather than looking at the opportunities that exist. We need to look at ourselves and try to get the systems right. This will create access to markets which many other countries are not able to access if we are serious. The drive to food safety is a plus for Jamaica. Trade barriers will always be there, but these are driven by the consumers in the other markets. It does not call for an emotional response, but rather careful assessments.  Distributive trade is 50 % of the economy as the margins are very high on inputs and we cannot compete in manufacturing. It is because of the Jamaican paradigm and therefore how we operate is based on making money through trading. In Trinidad, money is to be made in manufacturing.  Is policy making based on pilots? Over years of work, companies such as the Competitiveness Co. has built on past knowledge and going forward strategically, implementing with the best people available local or overseas. The Jamaica Business Recovery Programme for example was based on taking, assessing the data and coming up with an effective strategic plan and implementing with the best people available (local/overseas). Does the Government apply a pilot approach? Some organizations use that approach, but there is no consistency.  The definition of excellence raises the question if we are bold enough to break the rules. Are we prepared to do the things necessary, equal to the stated conviction? Our history shows that we do have the courage to break stereotypes and barriers. It takes an individual mindset turned collective. The challenge is that we do not naturally collaborate. All pilots were done by working collectively and under the radar. We need to identify those things that have worked well and study them.
  42. 42. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 41 Wrap up In wrapping up the discussions, Dr. Williams noted the key points of discussion as:  The evolution of the ICT sector globally and in Jamaica.  The tourism sector is more than accommodation.  The critical role of education in creating a knowledge-based society and driving evidence based decision making.  What are the emerging areas in a dying agricultural sector and how can we overcome the barriers. MODULE 2.5: BRAINSTORMING SESSION -DR. JEAN-ERIC AUBERT & PROF. CARL DAHLMAN The module allowed for brainstorming on key issues to be considered in the Knowledge Economy strategy, to be elaborated on the second day afternoon. Participants were asked to reflect based on the first day of presentations and discussions. Professor Carl Dahlman noted that the morning session of Day 1 focussed on challenges faced by Jamaica whilst the afternoon session concentrated on the opportunities. Some key questions arising from the presentation and discussions were:  What are the low hanging fruit?  What are required to bring them to fruition? How do we break the culture of lack of collaboration?  What resources (human and financial, local and overseas) are needed?  What is required for implementation? Key areas were highlighted.  The potential of ICT was seen as a major contributor to competitiveness. The issue is how to move the sector such that it can lead to concrete actions, reduce transaction costs and improve other sectors of the economy.  The role of education. There is a need for people who have the skills and knowledge to follow through for all sectors of the economy. How can ICTs help in provision of the education to provide the right kind of human capital? Dr. Aubert made observations about the Jamaica economy and the psyche.  There are many success stories.  There are low hanging fruits  There are organizations which function well with a lot of potential
  43. 43. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 42  Transgressive capacity has negative aspects, but also positive aspects if one recognizes that innovators are fundamentally deviant.  Fundamental optimism gives a capacity to rebound, however can be easily satisfied with small progress without real systemic change  Fragmented society is an issue. Things are understood, but psyche reflects in the lack of move toward real change.  There is a need to think of well designed pilot approaches not only to the economic sector but also social aspects such as education, inner city development etc.  There is a need to do analytical work – Assessment for where you are coming from and cognitive work which tests capacity for action on small well defined targets and gradually build up confidence.  There is need to generate a self knowledge society; one that knows about itself and has the will to implement change. A number of points were made in the ensuing discussions as follows:  The example of Mexico was used to highlight a situation where there was a law that all social policies had to demonstrate impact assessment, which would ensure that the questions of who leads, who monitors and evaluates are answered. Can the private sector take the lead in such an approach?  Research and Development and Innovation at the macro level, how do we operationalise what needs to be done? How to get policy leadership? At the micro level, how do we get the innovation and R&D to have pilot ideas of innovative applications of knowledge? How do we frame the R&D for a meaningful way forward?  How can we maximize and leverage Agriculture and Tourism? Working from a sound theoretical framework, try to prove best practices in the Jamaican setting, analyse and document the learning, build on the positive and try new things. The philosophy was that if you want to be among the best, we have to go to the best in the world, locally or overseas, set the objectives and work out the approach without limitations. Target Europe 2: the objective is to identify the markets in Europe which can pay high prices and work back to the firms that should be able to deliver. It was noted that Jamaica does not have an enabling environment; many stumbling blocks by Government.  With respect to tourism, it is an export industry. Tourism is used to make sure goods and services are market ready. Market intelligence from the tourism sector is critical in taking us to the various export markets. Lifestyle is very powerful from a marketing
  44. 44. Conference Proceedings: Strategies for Enhancing Jamaican Competitiveness in the Global Knowledge Economy 2011 43 perspective. This is then linked through the sectors to create the products. There is a need to focus on training at all levels on productivity, innovation and competitiveness, standards, certification and environmental issues in the private sector. An enabling environment needs to be created and it is an opportune time for the Cabinet secretary to find the synergies and implement with a monitoring mechanism. The critical issue is the coordination.  Private sector performance in the global productivity index is average while the Government has failed. To improve competitiveness at least within the context of the CARICOM states, we need to use the variables used to rank the competitiveness index and see how we can improve on those in the shortest possible time.  Over past 15 years, Jamaica has attracted foreign investment (25% of GDP) and therefore we should have been growing at higher rates. However there are obstacles such as implementation deficit incompetence at public, private sectors and regulations. We need to consciously identify ways to tackle each of the variables in the indices. We need broader governance systems to ensure that returns can be attracted to the economy. Action items  There needs to be serious sensitization of key stakeholders. Major stakeholders do not understand what the concept of competition is.  Define Jamaica’s “diamond” of national competitiveness. We can look at a small hub of diamonds – require driven leadership, locally, from the Diaspora and then the larger community of international players.  What are the most critical institutions for competitiveness and what can we do to strength these institutions? Note the absence of continuity in some sectors, e.g. in ICT governance. The Governance structure needs to be fixed.  The lack of enabling environment is driving away investment. We need to focus on how we use ICT to make bureaucratic red-tape redundant and create an enabling environment. We need to create more agile Government organizations, promote transparency and reduce corruption through disintermediation.  Many of the pillars discussed are already included in the Vision 2030 and the ICT plan however the interconnectivity between sectors is not strong. There needs to be full integration of ICT into all the aspects of the plan. We need to look at the Vision 2030 through the lens of developing a knowledge society, see how it can be deepened and put in place the relevant support structures for implementation.

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