JIS News

Small and medium sized enterprises (SME) are encouraged to “get out of line and go online” by participating in courses on the Jamaica Trade Point portal which will begin on March 22.
This trade facilitation portal, which was developed by the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) in conjunction with Fiscal Services Limited, 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.
This training will show participants how to use the computer and the Internet effectively to complete export and import related transactions online. It will also offer courses on online exporting processes and online importing processes.
In these courses, participants will learn how to complete C78 import entry forms and C82 export entry forms; request export certificates; complete annual and new exporter registrations and pay fees and duties online using credit cards.
The training will target 550 persons from 275 SMEs and will be conducted by the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) and the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA).
Speaking with JIS News, Leone Hines-Smith, JAMPRO, Business Facilitation Manager encouraged businesses to take advantage of this training as in the near future companies that submit applications online would get priority throughout the various agencies.
In addition, Mrs. Hines-Smith noted, “getting online decreases trade transaction costs all round for not just businesses but also for our government ministries and agencies.”
Being trained in this area will make these companies more competitive in relation to other companies in terms of time taken to complete transaction and service levels, she added.
Jamaica Trade Point also offers a high level of convenience by decreasing the time spent in lines at the agencies as the facility can be used 24 hours a day, any day of the week.
SMEs with less than 250 persons will benefit from subsidized courses. However, companies with a larger number of employees may apply but they will pay the full rate per course.
No more than two persons per company will benefit from the subsidized rate.
The JAMPRO executive encouraged SMEs to take advantage of these courses, as the next set of courses would not be subsidized.
Target companies for training include importing and exporting companies, customs brokers, freight forwarders and shipping agents.
Each participant will have his/her own computer workstation during the period of training.
Interested persons may contact Karlene Ramdon-Fearon of JEA at 978-6212 for information on the online exporting processes course or Maxine Watts of UCC at 968-0596 for information on the online importing processes and computer competency courses.
The training programme is sponsored by the New Economy Project, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project that aids economic growth with a mandate to improve the business environment for SMEs.
Jamaica Trade Point, which was launched in November 2003, evolved out of the Government’s Public Sector Modernization Programme and its e-government thrust aimed at rationalizing public sector processes.

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