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Richard Browne, Business Reporter
If Jamaica looks to Haiti, it, too, could produce high-tech tablet computers for the local and export markets, according to Brian Pengelley, president of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA).
He was responding to a report by the Associated Press last weekend that two rival companies in Haiti had started to produce tablets for the local and export market in that country.
Jamaica’s nearest neighbour to the east is still recovering from its devastating earthquake of 2010, but it is now seeing its small manufacturing sector move up the value chain from simple products such as T-shirts to one of the world’s most technologically advanced consumer products.
Jamaica can “very easily” follow Haiti’s lead, Pengelley said. “We certainly have the skills and the capabilities here.”
The two Haitian companies are Surtab and Handxcom, which both started production in the latter part of last year.
The Surtab operation was started by a group of investors including Maarten Boute, its chief executive officer and an adviser to regional mobile operator Digicel. Boute was chief executive officer of Digicel Haiti from 2009 to 2012.