JIS News

Newly appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte, will be primarily involved with the formulation and implementation of new trade agreements.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh, made the announcement during his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (July 29).
Dr. Baugh said that, as State Minister, Senator Malahoo Forte would also play a prominent role in overseeing the implementation of the CARIFORUM/EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) as well as free trade agreements. She will also chair the activities of the Jamaica Trade Policy Consultation and Co-ordination Mechanism (JTPCCM).
He said that the Jamaica Trade and Adjustment Team (JTAT) will now be transformed into the Jamaica Trade Policy Consultation and Co-ordination Mechanism (JTPCCM), with a mandate that will include direct consultations with companies engaged in foreign trade initiatives, and a regular high level public/private sector consultation.
“We want our public/private sector and civil society partners to be direct participants in shaping the trade policies to be pursued. We want them to help drive the negotiating positions that we will adopt and defend,” Dr. Baugh said.
He explained that through the trade policy consultation and co-ordination mechanism, the Ministry will engage partners in intensive discussions on making better use of trade agreements and arrangements.
“In these exchanges, I will invite all stakeholders to tell us, with specificity, the following: what capacity building support do you need to compete with your identified competitors in the various export markets; what reasonable policies would you wish the Government to adopt to enable you to be more competitive in these markets; and what reasonable measures would you wish us to take in our treaty arrangements to protect your interests in the domestic market?” Dr. Baugh stated.
“I know that the private sector may feel that it has said and heard much of this before, but I know that we all recognise that we must deal with the challenges head-on, and we must do so as a matter of urgency,” he added.

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