KINGSTON, August 25 The European Union (EU) has issued new directives to regulate exporters of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. This will be discussed at a market access seminar scheduled for Thursday, August 26 at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) head office in Kingston.
The meeting will see over 36 exporters participating and the discussion will focus mainly on the new rules for imports and exports from and to EU countries. The most recent negotiations with the EU which took place in May 2004, saw the countries of the Balkan states increasing its membership from 15 to 25 and “will create greater competition for what Jamaican exporters provide for that market,” according to Manager, Corporate Affairs, JAMPRO, Lincoln Price.
Mr. Price noted that the EU is the only trade market that Jamaica does not have a deficit and the exporters need to be kept aware of what the changes are likely to be in order to compete, “and will prove critical as Jamaican exporters seek to further penetrate the market internationally.”
The Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA) is also partnering with JAMPRO on this seminar as a group that provides technical assistance to some exporters who are presently exporting to EU markets.
Fresh and processed fruits and vegetables showed a 12.6 per cent increase in 2003 (January to August) over the same period for 2002. The value of the exports ($34.8 million) was the highest for the years 1999 to 2003 for the January to August period, most of which goes to the US market. Price noted “more can be done to penetrate the EU markets and the seminar is aimed at providing that information to the exporters.”
Fresh and processed fruits and vegetables represented 26 per cent of the total EU exports in 2003 at a US$89.8 million value.
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