JIS News

Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has emphasized that much more needs to be done within the region to achieve the goals of the Single Market, particularly as it relates to harmonizing critical areas.
Addressing a meeting of the diplomatic and consular corps at Jamaica House on (Oct. 3), Mr. Golding said “A market can’t be single if the market has so many features that are different from country to country. Some effort has been made in harmonizing critical areas, but much more work needs to be done”. He pointed out that Europe for example even with all its resources and history, still has challenges under a unified system. “We (the Government) have pledged our full support for the establishment of a Single Market, and therefore we would want to continue to accelerate the processes that are involved in harmonizing as many critical areas that have to do with (for example) incentives, and tax regimes. We support for example, a regional stock market, and we hope that that will become a reality,” he told the gathering of diplomats and foreign officials. Mr. Golding maintained however that a single economic space must be supported by a political structure. “You can’t have a single economy, but within that economy you have different fiscal policies being pursued, different monetary policies, and different central banks. To have that unitization requires a political authority, and that political authority will have to be put there by the people,” he asserted.
Heads of Government, the Prime Minister said, do not have the authority to create such a structure, as this could only be decided by the people. “The people spoke on that matter in 1961, when they said no we prefer to go on our own. We do not support a political federation within the region because we feel that it involves some experiences that are not going to be in our best interest”. Despite this position, Mr. Golding said, “we don’t believe that that is the only basis on which we can cooperate as a region and the only basis on which we can so standardize our investment, and our business practices, in order to be able to attract investment”. Therefore, he stated, the Government will continue to work towards achieving the kind of harmonization that is necessary.
“I think you are going to find that most of the problem that investors encounter will vary from country to country. There are some countries that are easier to do business with than others,” he noted, adding that some standards need to be established within the region, and within the process of a single market, it must be ensured that those standards are put in place. “Consistent with the approach that we are taking, our future must lie in getting investment, to strengthen our capacity to export and to earn and to create wealth,” he stated.

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