JIS News

Minister of Development, Dr. Paul Robertson has called on the country’s producers to get organised to become more competitive and to enhance their ability to penetrate external markets. “Given the size of the domestic market, it will be necessary for our producers to export if their businesses are to expand and allow the economy to grow. We cannot simply rely on producing for the domestic market as a means of achieving economic growth,” he stated.
Dr. Robertson was making his presentation to the Sectoral Debate at Gordon House on Tuesday, September 23.
He told the House that it was important that Jamaica continued to work within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and with other developing countries, to strengthen their negotiating position in the World Trade Organization (WTO), so as to allow easier access for agricultural and other goods from the third world, to the markets of the developed nations.
“As we saw in Cancun, we have no illusions that these are easy tasks, but we also saw a unity among developing countries that we should do everything to retain. Equally, we will continue to insist on being allowed appropriate adjustment periods for our vulnerable industries to be able to cope with the liberalization of our domestic markets,” Dr. Robertson stated.
He pointed out that “our task is to build greater competitiveness of our firms and major industries that produce both for exports and for domestic consumption. This will require mobilization of our investment capital, technical expertise, expansion of training opportunities, raising education standards and greater social stability. In short, we require united effort, not political footworks”.
Dr. Robertson said Jamaica ought not to be divided on these issues, because both the Government and the opposition held similar positions on the matter. “We ought to unite behind the negotiating positions adopted by CARICOM and developing countries in world forums,” he stated.

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