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  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, says compliance with quality standards with respect to food and agro-processed products is a key ingredient in both the global and regional markets.
  • The Minister said the Ministry is pursuing “a single trade electronic window” which will provide a facility for all parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents in electronic form and with a single entry point.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, says compliance with quality standards with respect to food and agro-processed products is a key ingredient in both the global and regional markets.

The Minister emphasises that Jamaica must continue to address issues such as those related to export inspections and the accompanying procedural obstacles being faced by local businesses, resulting in lengthy delays and added costs to local exporters.

Mr. Samuda was speaking at the launch of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) inaugural Jamaica International Exhibition (JIE) Trade Show at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Rose Hall, St. James, on January 11.

The Minister said the Ministry is pursuing “a single trade electronic window” which will provide a facility for all parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents in electronic form and with a single entry point.

“The establishment of this system will greatly facilitate trade and lead to greater efficiencies. The streamlining of business processes through modern systems, such as the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) and the Port Community System, to ensure integrated business processes and efficiency across border agencies, are also part of the whole business of facilitating trade,” Mr. Samuda noted.

The Minister said that equally important is the status of the standards quality infrastructure, which is critical in facilitating trade, industrial growth and the protection of health and public safety.

“The Government has been developing and implementing an effective quality infrastructure that not only meets the needs of domestic industry, but which is also fully compliant with our international and regional trade commitments,” he added.

“This will, among other things, eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade and market access delays. For Jamaica to successfully compete in the global market, we must ensure that our products meet quality and safety requirements,” Mr. Samuda stressed.

The Minister further noted that the often-discussed issue of intellectual property rights should not be trivialised and taken lightly, saying it is important to the development of industry and commerce, business competitiveness and performance, both locally and internationally.

“We see a critical role for trade in boosting development and reducing poverty by generating growth through increased commercial opportunities and investment, as well as broadening the productive base through private-sector development,” Mr. Samuda said.

“It is also critical in enhancing competitiveness and helping the country to reduce input costs, acquire finance through investments, increase the value added of our products, and move up the global value chain,” he added.

The JIE Trade Show, billed as the biggest to take place in the region, will be held from June 1-4 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. It will see more than 600 buyers and suppliers from the Caribbean, North and South America, China, the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe offering business opportunities to local manufacturers and other stakeholders.