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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05KINGSTON2332
2005-10-13 20:12:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Kingston
Cable title:  

USITC BIENNIAL CARIBBEAN BASIN INVESTMENT SURVEY

Tags:   ASEC  ECON  ETRD  OTRA  XL  JM 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 KINGSTON 002332 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAR/ (WBENT), WHA/EPSC (JSLATTERY)

SANTO DOMINGO FOR FCS AND FAS

TREASURY FOR L LAMONICA

E.O. 12958: NA
TAGS: ASEC ECON ETRD OTRA XL JM
SUBJECT: USITC BIENNIAL CARIBBEAN BASIN INVESTMENT SURVEY

REF A: STATE 087702
B: 03 KINGSTON 141419
C: KINGSTON 146213

(U) This cable is Sensitive But Unclassified. Please
protect accordingly.

(U) Note: The deadline for this information was set for
June 30, 2005. However, post did not receive the original
cable tasking because it had been addressed to Central
American Collective, which Kingston does not receive. End
note.



1. (U) The U.S. continues to be Jamaica's largest trading
partner, accounting for 40 percent of all merchandise
trade with the island between 2002 and 2004. Although
Jamaica's share of trade with the U.S. has stabilized, the
island's balance of trade (exports minus imports) with the
U.S. has continued to widen. Historically, the worsening
trade balance was driven by imports growth, but in recent
years the deterioration has been due to a combination of
higher imports and anemic exports growth in general and
waning apparel exports in particular. Apparel earnings
amounted to a mere USD 10.4 million at the end of 2004,
signaling the death of the once vibrant sector. Apparel
exports, which benefited significantly from the Caribbean
Basin Initiative (CBI), rose from a low of USD 83 million
in 1990 to peak at USD 288 million in 1995. The buoyancy
in apparel earnings stimulated an expansion in non-
traditional export earnings, which recorded annual average
growth of 15 percent over the period. However, by 1996
apparel earnings began to decline, reflecting rising
competition from Mexico following the implementation of
NAFTA. Jamaica's challenging macroeconomic environment,
characterized by high interest rates, exchange rate
instability and high labor and utility costs, accelerated
the deterioration of the sector (apparel earnings declined
on average by 27 percent between 1996 and 2004).



2. The demise of the apparel sector influenced a
contraction in non-traditional exports, which moved from a
high of USD 478 million in 1995 to USD 283.3 million at
the end of 2004. Despite this decline, food, beverages,
tobacco and chemicals all showed signs of resilience
during 2004. These products are expected to contribute
most of the growth in non-traditional exports during 2005.
However, efforts to diversify the island's export and
production base will be dealt a further blow in 2006, as
the last remaining tobacco producer, Carreras Group, is
set to shift production operations to lower cost Trinidad
and Tobago. The apparel sector could also disappear over
the next three months, as most of the few remaining firms
either ceased operations or relocated to lower cost
destinations during early 2005. Therefore, while the
CBERA/CBTPA will remain necessary for Jamaican exporters
of non-traditional products to remain afloat, it will not
be sufficient for these producers to remain competitive.
The usefulness of the program will therefore hinge on
GOJ'S ability to make the structural adjustments (labor
market, customs, securities and utilities) necessary for
exporters to improve their competitiveness.



3. (SBU) Begin Report: Answers are keyed to question

format contained in Ref A. The SBU classification is
assigned solely because of the business confidential
contents contained in the report.



A. Data on CBERA-related investment activity during 2004
by sector.





--------------------------


Beverages & Tobacco


--------------------------


a. Name of Company - Red Stripe
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 12 million
c. New or expansion investment - 40 percent new and 60
percent expansion
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Brewed beverages
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 22
million
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Yes
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 10 percent



--------------------------


Chemicals


--------------------------


a. Name of Company - Petrojam Ethanol
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 10.5 million
c. New or expansion investment - Expansion to upgrade
process technology
d. Located in free trade zone - No, but applying for free
zone status
e. Types of products exported - Anhydrous ethanol or fuel
ethanol
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - About USD 50
million
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - No
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - None



--------------------------


Fresh Produce


--------------------------


a. Name of Company - Trout Hall
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 39,000
c. New or expansion investment - Expansion
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Citrus (UGLI Tangelos and
lime)
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 600,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Unlikely
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 50 percent

a. Name of Company - Jamaica Agricultural Development
Foundation
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 110,000
c. New or expansion investment - expansion
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Cotton lint
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - Zero
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Yes
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 70 percent

a. Name of Company - Jamaica Export Trading Company
b. Investment in 2004 - Zero
c. New or expansion investment - N/A
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Fresh and processed
foods, pimento, ground calcium carbonate and crafts
products
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 213,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Yes
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - None

a. Name of Company - Grace Foods International
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 1.8 million
c. New or expansion investment - Expansion
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Processed foods
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S - USD 6.5
million
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Yes
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 10 to 15 percent

a. Name of Company - Belle Tropicals
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 246,000
c. New or expansion investment - Expansion
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Yams, dasheens, pumpkins,
peppers and processed foods such as ackees and callaloo,
cassava bammies and spice buns
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 940,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - No
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 10 percent


--------------------------


Furniture & Craft


--------------------------


a. Name of Company - Jamaica Fibreglass Products
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 150,000
c. New or expansion investment - Expansion
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Restaurant furniture
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - Zero
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - No
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 90 percent



--------------------------


Other Manufactured Products


--------------------------


a. Name of Company - West Indies Synthetics
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 400 million
c. New or expansion investment - Expansion
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Styrofoam plates, take
out boxes and drinking straws
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 500,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Yes
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 40 percent

a. Name of Company - Jalex Manufacturing
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 350,000
c. New or expansion investment - New
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Scrap
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 273,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Yes
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - None




--------------------------



--------------------------


Pharmaceuticals/Cosmetics & Personal Care Products


--------------------------



--------------------------


a. Name of Company - Starfish Oil
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 33,000
c. New or expansion investment - New and expansion
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Scented candles,
aromatherapy oils and soaps, bath salts and incense
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 400,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - No
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 40 percent

a. Name of Company - P.A. Benjamin Manufacturing Company
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 250,000
c. New or expansion investment - Expansion
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Pharmaceuticals (health
care) and food flavorings
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S - USD 305,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Yes
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 30 percent



--------------------------


Processed Foods


--------------------------


a. Name of Company - Gray's Pepper Products
b. Investment in 2004 - Zero
c. New or expansion investment - N/A
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - sauces with pepper base
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 500,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Yes
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 50 percent
a. Name of Company - Jamaica Cane Products Sales
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 1.6 million
c. New or expansion investment - N/A
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Raw sugar
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 4.98
million
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - No
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - None

a. Name of Company - Betapac
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 10,000
c. New or expansion investment - Expansion
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Curry powder
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 110,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Yes
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 20 percent

a. Name of Company - National Baking Company
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 1.2 million
c. New or expansion investment - New and expansion
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Buns and biscuits
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 800,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Yes
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 25 percent

a. Name of Company - Shim Successors
b. Investment in 2004 - Zero
c. New or expansion investment - N/A
d. Located in free trade zone - Yes
e. Types of products exported - Fruit syrup
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 40,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - No
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 74 percent

a. Name of Company - Nestle Jamaica
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 905,000
c. New or expansion investment - New and expansion
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Milk-based products
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 1.5
million
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Yes
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 45 percent

a. Name of Company - JABEXCO
b. Investment in 2004 - Zero
c. New or expansion investment - N/A
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Tilapia fish, chicken and
beef
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 237,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Yes
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 70 percent

a. Name of Company - Jamaica Standard Products
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 350,000
c. New or expansion investment - New
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Green and roasted coffee
and sauces and spices
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 700,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - No
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 20 to 25 percent

a. Name of Company - Salada Foods Jamaica
b. Investment in 2004 - Zero
c. New or expansion investment - N/A
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Instant coffee and
peppermint tea
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 170,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - N/A
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 10 percent

a. Name of Company - Coffee Industries
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 50,000
c. New or expansion investment - Expansion
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Roasted coffee beans
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 771,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Yes
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 50 percent

a. Name of Company - Central Food Packers
b. Investment in 2004 - Zero
c. New or expansion investment - N/A
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Bammies, jerk and pepper
sauces, jerk seasonings, solomon gundy, roots wine, canned
ackee and callaloo
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 500,000
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - No
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 5 percent

a. Name of Company - Walkerswood Caribbean Foods
b. Investment in 2004 - USD 2.8 million
c. New or expansion investment - New
d. Located in free trade zone - No
e. Types of products exported - Seasonings, sauces,
preserves and condiments
f. Estimated value of exports to the U.S. - USD 2.7
million
g. Would project have been launched in the absence of
CBERA/CBTPA preferences - Yes
h. Approximate share of inputs from CBERA beneficiary
origin - 70 percent



--------------------------


Comments On Survey


--------------------------



3B. (SBU) Similar to 2003, most Jamaican exporters remain
unaware of the content and by extension importance of the
CBERA. Of the almost 50 exporters contacted, only three
were familiar with the details of the program. This
combined with the devastating effects of Hurricane Ivan
could explain why exporters were apathetic toward the
current survey. Jamaica Floral Exports, which reported
expansion investment of USD 35,000 and exports of USD
24,000 in 2002, left the export business due to the impact
of Hurricanes Ivan, Dennis and Emily on its operations.
Managing Director Maurice Facey, who also has majority
stake in two large publicly traded companies, told emboff
that the three hurricanes destroyed about 14 acres of his
greenhouse production. He said the horticulture business
would require a cash injection of about USD 200,000 to
resume exporting. However, Facey has taken a decision to
concentrate on the domestic market. General Manager of
Jamaica Standard Products John Minott told emboff that
Ivan destroyed a portion of his coffee plants, which will
affect production and exports for the next two years. The
Managing Directors of Gray's Pepper and Belle Tropicals
also told emboff that there was a reduction in exports
during 2004, due to lower levels of domestic production
following the hurricane. Chief Executive Officer of Jalex
Manufacturing K. Rajashekhar said that while he is able to
sell scrap, which is in high demand in the U.S., his
company has been unable to sell aluminum extrusions, its
main product. According to Rajashekhar, "if we were to
sell aluminum extrusions then we could talk about
CBERA/CBPTA preferences."



4. (U) B. Foreign Direct Investment in 2004 (USD Million)

Agriculture/Manufacturing/Distribution 43.5
Information Technology/Communication 17.9
Minerals and Chemicals 9.8
Insurance 10.2
Tourism 114.6
Mining 57.3
Other 170.2
Sub-total 423.6
Retained Earnings 178.0
TOTAL 601.6
Source: Bank of Jamaica

(SBU) After registering record FDI flows of USD 721
million in 2003, total FDI to Jamaica declined by 16.5
percent in 2004 to USD 602 million. Although there has
been a steep downturn in FDI to Latin America and the
Caribbean, foreign investment to Jamaica has remained
relatively high. This allowed the island to win the small
countries category at the World Promotion Organization
conference in 2003. The organization also ranked Jamaica
the highest maximizing FDI destination in the Caribbean
and twentieth in the world on a per capita basis. The
fall off in FDI in 2004 reflected a return to normality in
investment activity in the mining and communications
sectors following the completion of major expansion work
at two bauxite plants between 2002 and 2003 and by mobile
telecommunications companies in 2003. FDI to Jamaica is
expected to rebound in 2005, given the surge in tourism
investment, particularly from Spanish hotel chains such as
RIU, which is opening an 856-room hotel in Ocho Rios in
October. In addition, the country will benefit
significantly from a USD 1 billion-expansion project being
undertaken by Alcoa to expand capacity.



5. (SBU) The Jamaica Trade Board is the agency charged
with administering the CBERA/CBTPA programs Jamaica.
Certifying Officer of the Trade Board Tanique Brodber told
emboff that her unit has not encountered any major
problems with administering the programs. She also said
that exporters did not register any dissatisfaction with
regard to the 35 percent value added criterion. Brodber
said that during 2004 over 1,100 certificates were
validated under CBTPA, down from 1,655 in 2003. Almost
600 exporters applied for CBI certification in 2004, up
from 516 in 2003. She attributed the steep decline in
certification under the CBTPA to the demise of the
textiles and apparel industry. Although enhanced
preferences have not helped in saving the apparel and
textiles sector, they remain significant for exporters of
other non-traditional exporters of beverages, fresh
produce, processed foods and light manufactures.



6. (SBU) JAMPRO (Jamaica's trade promotion agency)
officials told emboff that while it may be argued that the
U.S. has implemented a number of trade regulations that
often operate as obstacles to market access, facilities
such as the CBI go a long way toward diversifying exports.
According to Cheronne Ellis of the Corporate Affairs
Office of JAMPRO, "exporters ought to more fully avail
themselves of this duty-free benefit. The preferences
once afforded to ACP countries are being eroded and
unilateral benefits are fast coming to an end." Ellis
said it would therefore be wise for Jamaican exporters to
make full use of the beneficial arrangements provided by
the world's largest trading partner.



7. (SBU) Ellis pointed out that while Jamaica's exports to
the U.S. between 1999 and 2003 fell by 11 percent there is
a strong possibility that this trend will be reversed.
She said that Jamaica's total exports of USD 529 million
in 2003 could be doubled to reflect the indicative
potential trade (i.e. - the total amount of exports the
U.S. could absorb from Jamaica) of USD 1.1 billion. Ellis
said that three products (ethnic and specialty foods,
essential oils and seafood) have grown in importance since
1999, with the first two exceeding their predicted
indicative potential trade. This could indicate that
these products were benefiting from CBERA and the
indicative potential trade figures might need to be
revised to reflect the ballooning trade trends of these
products. She said that JAMPRO is implementing a
certification mechanism for meat and poultry products to
enter the U.S., a move expected to broaden the non-
traditional export base and further diversify the economy
away from traditional agriculture.



8. (SBU) In addressing the moribund state of Jamaica's
exports, President of the Jamaica Exporters' Association
Andre Gordon said that the country needed to embark on a
strategy to expand its export base. He said that
producers must move away from bulk generic production of
traditional products towards brand emphasis, much like
Jamaican rum and coffee exporters have done. Gordon also
stated that the country had to identify growing
international markets in a bid to exploit any opportunity
that might arise. He said there were clear opportunities
for products such as beverages, which grew by almost 50
percent in 2004 (albeit from a small base), and agro-
processed foods. Keith Collister of the Private Sector
Organization of Jamaica also told emboff that Jamaica's
over-valued currency and waning apparel sector were
largely responsible for poor export growth. He suggested
that the island had to invest in research and development,
while at the same time establishing more efficient
distribution channels. Collister also told emboff that
the island had to move from producing samples of non-
traditional products to large-scale production and learn
to "export or die".

TIGHE