The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade continues to work on the revision of Jamaica's Foreign Trade Policy.
Making his contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 10, Minister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Arnaldo Brown informed that the revision commenced last year and “we are now in the final stages of preparing the draft”.
He noted that the Ministry is ensuring that the policy, once crafted will: reflect the realities of current engagement in bilateral, regional and multilateral trade; recognise the multi-disciplinary nature of foreign trade; establish realistic goals; promote policy coherence; and be integrated into the National Development Plan.
The Foreign Trade Department of the Ministry has primary responsibility for the formulation of foreign trade policy and for the negotiation of foreign trade agreements.
Jamaica’s Foreign Trade Policy provides a crucial framework for negotiations and for adjustment to the global trading environment. It was last reviewed approved by Cabinet during October 2000.
A key element of the new trade policy is that government will facilitate the development of the capacity of the private sector to produce goods and services that make intensive use of domestic capital.
Mr. Brown, in the meantime, said Jamaica will continue to actively participate in the multilateral trade agenda of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
"In the WTO, efforts are continuing to conclude the Doha Development Round. It is clear, however, that it will not be concluded this year. We continue to be vigilant in this process, to ensure that our interests remain protected and that development remains a core focus of the negotiations," he said.
He informed that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. A. J Nicholson attended UNCTAD XIII, held in Doha, Qatar, in April of this year and during that meeting, measures were adopted to further assist developing countries to benefit from global trade and enhance their capacity to achieve their development goals.
"While there, he also participated in the first Global Services Forum where the opportunities for developing trade in services-oriented economies, such as Jamaica, were underlined," he stated.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter