10/26/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/26/2020 09:29
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw (3rd left), along with Minister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Dr. Norman Dunn (2nd left); Managing Director, Sanmerna Paper Products, Robert White (4th left); Minister Plenipotentiary of the Nigerian High Commission, 'Manuel Oguntuyi (left); Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFA&FT), Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith (2nd right); and Financial Controller, MFA&FT, Tanya Richards-Davis, at the Ministry's New Kingston offices on Friday, October 23, 2020. Sanmerna was invited to the Ministry to discuss its plans and accomplishments in light of the company's intentions to set up a manufacturing plant in Nigeria and to acknowledge its accomplishments in light of Manufacturers' Month 2020
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw has lauded local paper products manufacturer Sanmerna Paper Products Limited for its zeal and innovativeness despite the challenges of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The company has announced plans to set up a manufacturing plant in Nigeria.
Speaking at a meeting with the representatives of Sanmerna, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and the Nigerian High Commission, held at the Ministry's St. Lucia Avenue office yesterday,
Minister Shaw praised the company's fortitude in these challenging times.
'What you are symbolizing is that in every crisis there is an opportunity,' Minister Shaw said adding that the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC), is prepared to offer its full support to the company amid its quest.
'For us to really take off [economically] we have to target the export market and that is what you are doing,' Shaw said of Sanmerna's push overseas and the impact of manufacturing on the Jamaican economy.
Minister Shaw further acknowledged the company's accomplishments in its 17-year history and its overall performance given the significance of Manufacturers' Month which is celebrated in October.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Hon. Kamina Johnson-Smith added her praise for the company noting the significance of trade for Jamaica.
'As a small open economy, we will only grow significantly if we grow our exports. We always make the point that it is not the government that trades but the private sector so it is up to us to set the enabling environment. We have been working hard to develop our partnerships so that the positive political foundation is there so that our private sector will be welcomed and that our trade arrangements are facilitatory,' Minister Johnson-Smith said.
State Minister within MIIC, Hon. Dr. Norman Dunn, while acknowledging the company's feats noted that Sanmerna is 'a great example of Jamaican entrepreneurial spirit.'
Sanmerna will also have the full support of the Government of Nigeria, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Nigerian High Commission, 'Manuel Oguntuyi told the meeting.
'Our government has a policy of inviting foreign direct investment and this is one thing that we think can also promote economic development and trade facilitation within our two countries,' the Minister said the prospects for corporation while noting his country's 'excitement' about Sanmerna's entry.
In thanking the Ministers for the invitation to discuss the company's plans, Managing Director of Sanmerna, Robert White said his company views its role as a partner of the Jamaican government as it is keen on helping to open the doors that will lead to a better platform for overall business growth in Jamaica.
'It's now Sanmerna's time to tread the road that has been set,' Mr. White said as he acknowledged the support of government toward aiding the growth of the manufacturing sector.