KINGSTON — Exporters will soon find it easier and cheaper to conduct transactions with the relevant registration and approval agencies.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, says he has given instruction for the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) "to begin a phase of bringing the application and approval processes for these services online."
The Minister, who was delivering the keynote address at the Jamaica Exporters’ Association’s (JEA) 45th Annual General Meeting held on November 24 at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St. Andrew, said that businesses should be encouraged to utilise available technology to conduct vital transactions to speed up the process of doing business.
"The target is to reduce transaction time, reduce transaction cost and ensure that we will get to the point where a registered exporter can sit in his or her office, go online to get their licence, pay by credit card, and get a response within a reasonable time," he stated.
The move, he said is in keeping with Government’s continued effort to create the environment to facilitate business, stating that “we have not seen an environment in a very long time where there is an opportunity for longer-term planning”.
"As an entrepreneur, an exporter, the variables that would normally influence how you plan for the future, the macro-economic framework, provides for you to look three to five years down the road,” he added, assuring that “we will provide critical support and facilitate you in accessing critical markets."
Dr. Tufton further challenged the exporters to ensure international standards in their business operations.
He said that given the scrutiny from partners across the globe, there must be quality standards in production facilities and in the Government’s certification bodies.
"Any deviation from acceptable quality could see local products not being accepted in certain markets, and also imitators could pose a challenge if products are not properly certified and standards adhered to,” he pointed out.
Dr. Tufton urged the JEA to “ use the lobbying power that you have, use your strength of numbers to ensure that your members meet certain minimum standards… because it is going to be critical to ensure that Brand Jamaica is protected, particularly on certain products that we hope to register and leverage."
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter