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  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade will be increasing its public education on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), to ensure Jamaicans benefit from the regional arrangement.
  • This was disclosed by Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade in the Ministry, Marcia Thomas, during a one-day workshop for the private sector on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston, yesterday (September 12).
  • The workshop is part of the ongoing thrust of the Ministry to ensure that Jamaicans at different levels of society are able to exploit and make full use of the opportunities provided by CARICOM regional integration and CSME in particular.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade will be increasing its public education on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), to ensure Jamaicans benefit from the regional arrangement.

This was disclosed by Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade in the Ministry, Marcia Thomas, during a one-day workshop for the private sector on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston, yesterday (September 12).

She said public education on the CSME remains critical, in view of the challenges being encountered by Jamaican nationals and companies seeking to take advantage and to benefit from the CSME.

“We all know that the private sector as the economic operator is key to any regional integration arrangement. As the private sector, you must understand and be comfortable with the CSME arrangements and be able to make full use of the opportunities provided by the CSME,” she added.

She said the workshop falls in line with the establishment of the CARICOM/CARIFORUM Review Commission, which was formed by Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.She added that the Commission is slated to complete its work by December.

The Commission will, among other things, evaluate the effects that Jamaica’s participation in CARICOM has on its economic growth and development; analyse CARICOM’s performance against the goals and objectives outlined in the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas; and identify the causes of the shortcomings.

Ms. Thomas said while this is not the first exercise on the CSME, there has been a gap.

“We hope that we will continue to collaborate with the CARICOM Secretariat in engaging all the key stakeholders here in Jamaica on the CSME,” she said.

Vice President, Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Howard Mitchell, said the CSME remains one of the best platforms for sustainable economic growth and human development of the region.

“However, if this potential is to be realised for all member states, it is critical that a structured partnership is developed between the public sector and the private sector,” he said.
Mr. Mitchell argued that in strengthening the CSME, competitive and non-discretionary conditions must be created to facilitate the goals of the CSME.

The workshop is part of the ongoing thrust of the Ministry to ensure that Jamaicans at different levels of society are able to exploit and make full use of the opportunities provided by CARICOM regional integration and CSME in particular.

It was attended by representatives from the JMA, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Alliance; Jamaica Exporters’ Association; and the Jamaica Agricultural Society.

The event sought to inform the sectors how they can maximise benefits under the CSME that allow for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the 15-member grouping.