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Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding has assured Jamaican exporters that the Government will defend their interests within the Caricom bloc, even as it upholds the regional integration goals.
He was speaking at the launch of the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA) Export Week yesterday (June 8) at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston. Taking a critical look at the situation, Mr. Golding told the meeting, “We are at a point where we are going to have to either renew our commitment to this Caricom process, or be honest and decide to what extent we really are prepared to commit ourselves…With all the good intentions that are behind the Caricom Single Market, that will never provide the kind of economic growth that we seek, because the market is too small.” The Prime Minister repeated his budget announcement that business incentives that were created when markets were protected and current international trade agreements did not exist, are now being evaluated for relevance.
Cabinet, he said, had detailed Ministers Samuda, Tufton and Shaw to review the structure of incentives; and he remarked, “I don’t think that we have ever made a serious effort to measure the value of these incentives. We need to do that review.”