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The Government will be making greater use of economic diplomacy to increase trade and investment opportunities.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, who made the announcement in his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 14, said the process will involve collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

The aim is to access new markets and to facilitate strategic alliances and joint ventures.

“Embassies located in targeted countries will host investment and marketing counsellors with the relevant expertise. We will begin with China and the new embassy proposed to be opened in Panama,” Minister Hylton informed.

He argued that, with the trade preference regime now over, the island must be integrated with the global economy, to sustain development.

“Export-led growth is therefore an imperative to achieving economic development,” he argued.

The Investment Minister said that while the local market is open to the world, Jamaica is not “defenseless” in protecting itself from unfair trade practices, even as it aggressively pursues new markets for its goods and services.

The key to achieving this balance, he said, is to ensure that the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector is developed in tandem with the growth of large scale businesses, multinational corporations and enterprises.

“This, we will pursue, through legislative and administrative reforms, consistent with global best practices,” he stated.

Economic diplomacy is the use of the full spectrum economic tools of the state to achieve its national interest. Economic diplomacy includes all the economic activities, including but not limited to export, import, investment, lending, aid, free trade agreements.

Contact: Alphea Saunders