Jamaica’s foreign trade action plan to be reviewed

Jamaica’s Foreign Trade Action Plan, which outlines general policy direction, implementation priorities and strategies, is to be reviewed.

This was disclosed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, who says the private sector will be an “indispensable part” of this process.

“So even as we will explain to you (the private sector) more about how these arrangements can work, we need you to tell us of the opportunities that you believe can be seized, so that we can work through how we can help you achieve your goals,” she added.

Senator Johnson Smith further advised that the Ministry will be seeking a “new and dynamic approach to the development of a regional trade policy”.

This, the minister said, within the context of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

She was speaking during Wednesday’s meeting of the Jamaica Trade Policy Advisory Group (JAMTRADE) at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in downtown Kingston.

The meeting provided the framework for fostering a more comprehensive understanding of Jamaica’s current national trade policy landscape and approaches for implementation in the future.

Meanwhile, Senator Johnson Smith said private-sector businesses involved in the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) have the opportunity to expand their markets and boost revenues.

She informed that a major benefit of COTED is the processes in place, which allow the Ministry to work with private-sector organizations to “remove apparent or existing trade barriers and obstacles between Jamaica and the rest of the region”.

“We can affirm [and] we have seen the results [that] where companies attend and seek to examine opportunities through these formal structures they make more money. They sell… [and] distribute more products, because there are structures that work, once we look beyond some of the barriers,” the Minister stated.

Senator Johnson Smith indicated that several countries are providing trading opportunities for Jamaican businesses.

These, she informed, include the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Panama, Africa, China, India, and Indonesia.

“Previous work has been completed on updating the Free Trade Agreement with Cuba, and work is now ongoing in relation to our efforts to deepen engagement with Colombia,” Senator Johnson Smith further advised.

Meanwhile, the minister is encouraging more local organizations to become involved in COTED.

Source : caribbeannationalweekly.com/ For More Details

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