JIS News

Prime Minister, Bruce Golding has stressed the importance of placing, as a high priority at the Special Meeting of CARIFORUM Heads of Government, a development agenda, to assist countries like Jamaica to benefit from trading opportunities that are going to be provided under the Economic Partnership Agenda (EPA).
The meeting is being held at the Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay from October 3 to 5. “It is going to be meaningless to us if we negotiate an agreement in which there are opportunities for trade, if we don’t have the capacity to generate the production of those goods and services, and that’s why the development component is so critical. It is one of the issues that we are going to be stressing,” Mr. Golding said the region also has to prepare itself for the conclusion of the Doha round, and that the needs and interest of developing countries has to be at the heart of that work programme.
“Part of the challenge we face is the stress it places on our own institutional capacity to handle negotiations that are so highly complex, and to be negotiating in three, four, five different forums at the same time. It is difficult for small countries,” he observed. The Prime Minister further pointed out the need to redress the imbalance in the international trading system and the consequent need for special and differential trading systems, has to be addressed as, “The world cannot afford to approach the future on the basis that those countries that are to be prosperous, are on one side of the equator and can proceed to prosperity and countries that have not made it are to be left in the backwater of economic history”. He noted that Jamaica is in a peculiar position, being regarded as neither rich nor poor, “and sometimes we get peripheralized, because we fall into this particular category, but the world has to become sensitized to the need for development to become global, and for all the countries of the world to be given the opportunity”.
Mr. Golding said countries like Jamaica, must be accorded special and differential treatment, “not only because we are behind, in terms of our status of development, but also because countries like ourselves provide a large significant market that is important in sustaining the world economy and economic activities”. He expressed the view that developed countries have not been sufficiently responsive to this need, and stressed the importance of helping developed countries to get to the stage where “we can provide even a more robust market for world trade and for the products and services of the developed countries”.

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