81 Persons Gradaute from Jamaica Trade Point Programme


Eighty-one persons (81) received certificates for successfully completing the Jamaica Trade Point Training Programme at a graduation ceremony held on Thursday, May 6 at the training room of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) on Trafalgar Road in Kingston.
The graduates successfully completed training on the use of the Jamaicatradepoint.com website by pursuing courses in online exporting and importing processes and computer competency.
Jamaicatradepoint.com, a business facilitation application designed by JAMPRO in conjunction with Fiscal Services Limited (FSL), allows exporters and importers to carry out trade related transactions with relevant organizations online. These organizations include JAMPRO, Jamaica Customs Department, Trade Board Limited, the Shipping Association of Jamaica and the Port Authority of Jamaica.
The sum of $1.5 million was provided by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) New Economy Project to fund the training programme, which began on March 22, 2004.
The graduates represented more than 60 companies involved in customs broking, shipping, importing and exporting and included small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and larger companies. SMEs with staff of less than 250 persons received subsidized training under the programme, while the larger companies were required to pay the full fee. Training seminars were conducted by the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA) and the University College of the Caribbean (UCC).
Michael Julien, Chief of Party for the New Economy Project, who addressed the graduation ceremony, said that one of the aims of the training was to get public and private sector agencies to use the Internet to complete transactions. “This coincided with a major thrust on the part of the Jamaican government to catch up with the information superhighway that so many other countries had taken on board and were using efficiently,” he noted.
He pointed out that the effort had led to the country being favourably recognized by the World Bank. “It gave me great pleasure, just a few weeks ago, when I heard that the World Bank had ranked Jamaica in the top 10 countries in the world for facilitating business and business conduciveness,” he stated, while commending the government for its commitment to making it easier for companies to carry out business and providing improved services to the private sector. “Part of the reason for this is that Jamaica has taken on board all of these modern trends such as using portals like Jamaica Trade Point to make things easier for companies to carry out business and for the Government to provide improved services to the private sector,” Mr. Julien further observed.
Meanwhile, Yvonne Bignall, UCC Vice-President of Academic Affairs, explained that the online importing and exporting processing courses were designed so that customs brokers and persons with import and export related duties could complete forms such as the C78 and C82 forms online, with a high degree of proficiency. These persons are also able to pay custom duties online by using credit cards while tracking and monitoring the shipments of goods.
Learning to complete these transactions online would lead to significant benefits to companies, emphasized Mrs. Bignall. “Participants have received significant benefits from the training seminars, cost savings will accrue from not having to join long lines at the Customs House, Trade Board and the banks, leading to improved productivity and competitiveness,” she stressed.
She encouraged other companies involved in importing and exporting to participate in the training seminars that will end on May 28, 2004, as a means of gaining the competitive edge. “Given the current challenges under the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement, companies which no longer have trade protection are forced to increase productivity and competitiveness to remain viable and profitable in this global village of ours,” she pointed out.

JIS Social