Legislation Governing Electronic Transaction Coming


Legislation is being drafted to address the integrity of information transferred by electronic means. Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell who made the announcement on Friday (Sept. 26), said An Electronic Transaction Act was currently being finalised for Parliament by the Chief Parliamentary Council.
He said the first draft had already been received and was soon to be passed into law.
“We are seeking to ensure that the legislation conforms to internationally acceptable principles and practices in order to be integrated within the global ecommerce framework, also that the rules are clear, consistent and predictable, thereby ensuring that there is no barrier to trade regardless of the jurisdiction of the buyer or the seller,” Mr. Paulwell said.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the eight biannual Hardware Merchant’s Association Home and Hardware Show at the National Arena.
The Minister also told the gathering that the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the construction and installation sector had grown by 2.2 per cent in 2002, representing the third consecutive year of growth for the sector.
Mr. Paulwell intimated that an increase in both residential and non-residential construction activities was expected to continue, not only because of the continuation of work on the northern coastal highway and highway 2000, but also due to a number of housing projects which were underway.
The Commerce Minister said the Home and Hardware show had certainly earned its place on Jamaica’s business calendar as a major expo that provided many opportunities for buyers and sellers.
He said, “in today’s dynamic and competitive business environment, we welcome this sort of exchange. As we seek to improve the way goods and services are designed, made delivered and used, thus providing wider choice, greater value and better quality for the Jamaican consumer, the Hardware Merchants Association, through this show, has a role, not only in exposing us to the latest developments in the business, but very importantly in helping us to build Jamaica”.
Applauding this year’s theme, ‘we Help To Build Jamaica’, he said that in addition to direct construction activities, improved performance of the sector was evident, with cement production having increased by 2.2 per cent in 2002, and cement sales by 4.2 per cent for the same period.
Meanwhile, he said, the value of mortgages went up by 3.2 per cent and net credit to the sector by commercial banks increased by up to 42 per cent last year. Additionally, he informed, the sector had seen an increase in the production of selected aggregates used in building construction.
“All of this augurs well for the future of the hardware trade and it is expected that the growth in the construction and installation sector will continue in 2003,” Mr. Paulwell said. He further pointed out that the higher levels of activity in residential construction would not only be influenced by the National Housing Trust’s four year housing plan, but also by the prevailing low interest rates on mortgages, which should boost housing demand, thus impacting on the performance of the local hardware trade.
The Minister added that government continued to play a key role in creating the conditions and providing where possible, support for business growth.
Currently, he informed, government was working to make online commerce and trade transactions the norm across all sectors, “including your sector, we believe that it is necessary if we are to make the transition to a fully knowledge-based society and see higher levels of activity in this area in Jamaica. We want to see not only in brick and mortar, but also with your own ecommerce website carrying out secure transactions online,” Mr. Paulwell said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the HMA, Michael Brooks said, “we are convinced that showcasing the products and services of Jamaican businesses is of significant importance to the entities themselves, the consumers and the entire Jamaican economy”.
The HMA Home and Hardware Show began in 1988 and over 120 booths were displayed at Friday’s event. Mr. Brooks said the fact there were many companies that had not been in existence at the last show over two years ago, participating in today’s show, the Association was convinced that “the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and doing well in Jamaica”.

JIS Social