Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon Anthony Hylton, says government intends to strengthen regional linkages to ensure balance and equity in treaty arrangements with CARICOM/CARIFORUM partners.
Mr. Hylton noted that Jamaica’s approach to strengthening regional cooperation and commercial linkages were priorities for both the Prime Minister and himself.
“It is one that has my full and complete endorsement,” he told the media launch of Expo Jamaica 2012, at the Wyndham Hotel in New Kingston, Tuesday (January 24).
Mr. Hylton added that working with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, his Ministry would be taking a robust approach to regional trade arrangements.
“We intend to ensure that the Jamaican consumer and business sector realize the full benefit of these arrangements. It is no secret that there have been challenges in this regard in recent years,” he asserted.
Mr. Hylton stressed that the government would ensure that the balance and equity on which the treaties were established, would be achieved. He noted that details of this move would be expanded on in coming weeks.
He said the Ministry would initiate a sustained programme of economic diplomacy in the first instance.
“Our objective is to ensure that the benefits and the burdens associated with regional trade are equitably shared by all nations in the region. Ours will be a firm collegiate overture to our trading partners in the region,” he stated.
He added that, in this context of friendly cooperation, he has requested that regional Ministers of Commerce be made aware of Expo 2012, with a view to having them bring or send trade delegations to the Expo.
“In particular, I am extending the hand of regional partnership to colleague ministers in Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic, with which we have begun a process of dialogue for strengthened trade relations,” he said.
Mr. Hylton informed that he had also requested that these delegations be invited to Jamaica’s premier investment event, the Jamaica Investment Forum, which is to be held in Montego Bay March 1-2. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, will host it in partnership with the IDB.
Some 85 buyers from 11 countries are already registered, including regional countries such as Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada, and others as far away as Hungary and Africa. Twenty-three local buyers are also now registered, including purchasing teams from local hotels and attractions.