JIS News

Head of Delegation of the European Commission in Jamaica, Ambassador Marco Mazzoccchi-Alemanni has commended the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) for being proactive in providing a better business environment for the private sector.
Such an initiative, he said, is significant and complementary to the facilities and opportunities being provided to the private sector, under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU).
“The Government itself has not been waiting on the EPA and has already taken steps to assist the private sector for a more business-friendly environment,” Ambassador Alemanni stated, as he addressed a Private Sector Development Programme awards luncheon held recently at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
According to the Ambassador, there is always a basic dilemma when the public and private sectors work together, “because the public sector has to work according to public sector procedures and such procedures are not always business-friendly”.
“I believe that the role of the public sector, and the best thing that it can do in favour of the private sector, is to work on rules, regulations, policies, traditional proceedings that have a direct impact on businesses, small, medium, and large,” he expressed.
The EPA, which CARICOM signed on to in December 2007, aims to foster trade and development in African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP), which previously benefitted from trade preferences under the Cotonou Agreement. The EPA provides an opportunity for the Government to create a more facilitatory framework for business.
Ambassador Alemanni noted that even before the EPA, the EU “had already incorporated business facilitation measures into the EU’s programmes for Jamaica in the form of the batch of support programmes that we have with your Government.”
Meanwhile, he informed that the GoJ is the only Caribbean Government that has requested that a part of the multi-annual financial envelope, which it has with the EU, be earmarked for a major EPA implementation project.
“The project has been prepared and submitted to (EU) headquarters in Brussels following extensive and meticulous stakeholder consultation. It is now ready for approval and I hope to be able to announce this early in 2010,” he stated.
The Head of Delegation said the project will allow Jamaica to move ahead with its growth agenda and increase competitiveness, particularly in the European market. It is to be implemented by the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA), and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ).

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