Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, has welcomed the launch of Anbell Trade Exchange Limited (ATX), which will facilitate a barter system for Jamaican companies and professionals.
The exchange will be membership based, enlisting companies that agree to barter with one another, by trading goods and services in exchange for trade credit or 'trade dollars.'
It will also act as a clearing house and co-ordinates all trading activity as well as provides the record-keeping, brokering expertise and monthly statements to each member.
“I want to congratulate you for recognising the opportunity and doing something about it,” Mr. Hylton said.
The Minister was speaking at the launch of Anbell Trade Exchange Limited on June 29, at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel. The trade exchange is the first of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean.
Mr. Hylton pointed out that the country possesses the technology to facilitate the initiative.
“Barter is not new to us. It has been from mankind. Before currency and money was invented, it was the way of trading. It’s just that we are doing it more efficiently and on a scale that is global,” Mr. Hylton said.
“This exchange is not about bartering in your neighbourhood; it is bartering to the globe. So, this is truly Jamaica to the world and I want to say that the Ministry recognises, in this launch, that it has a responsibility to engage these entrepreneurs and to begin to discuss a framework in which we can truly assist this to grow, expand and to continue to generate wealth,” he added.
For her part, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, noted that ATX will expand commerce and improve the performance of businesses, while lowering the entry cost for emerging entrepreneurs to fully participate in the Jamaican and regional commercial space.
“It is a natural fit to government’s thrust to grow Jamaica’s exports and improve our ranking on the global competitiveness index,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
In his comments, Executive Director, International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA), Ron Whitney, noted that the micro and macro benefits of barter are real and substantial.
“A well managed barter system that has the support of national and local government can truly transform and improve economies and relieve people’s financial stress,” Mr. Whitney said.
He added that IRTA looks forward in helping Anbell Trade Exchange and the Jamaican Government to build a “beacon barter system here that the entire world can point and say yes that is how you do it, that is how you use barter to change your economy for the better.”
Anbell Trade Exchange Limited is a member of International Reciprocal Trade Association.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter