Jamaica’s burgeoning film industry earned approximately US$236 million from 47 productions undertaken during the 2020/21 year, while generating 867 jobs.
This was disclosed by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, who said the outcome mainly resulted from portfolio agency, Jamaica Promotions Corporation’s (JAMPRO) work in actively promoting film as a viable local investment opportunity.
He was speaking during Thursday’s (November 25) semi-virtual media briefing for cargo and freight company BluShip Limited’s 2021 corporate linkages on trade in cultural goods, at the AC Marriott Kingston Hotel.
Mr. Shaw, who also oversees the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, noted that the quality and quantity of local film content has improved over the last three years and is “responding well” to increased global demand for productions that are culture specific.
He added that with this upsurge of interest in Jamaica’s film industry, comes an uptick in investment opportunities.
The Minister cited an “evolving need” for physical studio infrastructure in locations outside of densely populated commercial centres.
He also highlighted opportunities in the animation and digital sectors, “two industries which demonstrate [the] potential for economic transformation”.
“With this in mind, I urge our business community to use our local creative talent and give careful consideration to business propositions from local creative entrepreneurs who, many times, experience difficulties accessing funding to develop their businesses,” the Minister said.
Mr. Shaw cited research indicating that the creative trade “is less volatile than trade in commodities or raw materials”.
“These industries enable economies to diversify, generate income, and create employment,” he added.
Mr. Shaw said many of the persons involved in the overall cultural and creative industries are micro enterprises and women, pointing out that “harnessing their economic potential is a definitive step forward as we address gender and other inequalities”.
“The team at the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce and the agencies under my watch stand ready to support our entrepreneurs as well as our cultural and creative ambassadors, as they take advantage of emerging opportunities in national, regional and global markets to trade in cultural goods and services,” he added.
BluShip Cargo and Freight Limited is a fully Jamaican-owned company, offering a complete range of import logistics and cargo-handling support for retail and commercial clients.
The entity, through the corporate linkages engagement, is seeking to facilitate and support business growth and development locally, particularly among micro, small and medium enterprises, whose need for efficient and affordable freight services, particularly related to cultural and creative inputs, spurred its entry into the local market.
WRITTEN BY: DOUGLAS MCINTOSH
SOURCE: JIS news