JIS News

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Anthony Hylton, has warned that the lack of a conclusive World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement, could have serious implications for Jamaica at the domestic and regional levels.
Addressing the two-day inaugural conference of the Honorary Consuls of Jamaica at the Ritz Carlton Golf and Spa Resort in Montego Bay today (November 3), Minister Hylton observed that all negotiations which were at a stalemate, have been challenging and disappointing.
“Developing countries like Jamaica are particularly concerned that developed countries are not demonstrating the political will necessary to break the impasse, and to honour the commitment to fulfill the development dimension of the Doha Development Agenda. There is no question that the lack of a conclusive agreement could have serious implications for us at the domestic and regional levels,” he told the Honorary Consuls who represent Jamaica globally.
He pointed out that Jamaica’s participation and positions in the WTO negotiations were guided by specific imperatives, which were necessary for effectiveness and the achievement of positive results. Some of these were: the need to secure improved effective market access for trade in goods and services; ensuring that key development concerns of small economies were included in decisions taken, including provisions relating to special and differential treatment to increase trading opportunities; sensitizing WTO members to the country’s adjustment concerns, resulting from trade reforms and liberalization, among others.
Minister Hylton, however, informed the conference that notwithstanding the stalemate in the WTO negotiations, the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations between Member States of CARICOM and the Dominican Republic (CARIFORUM), were far advanced and is scheduled for completion by the end of December 2007.
Senator Hylton expressed deep appreciation to all Honorary Consuls in attendance for the work they have been doing to positively promote the country all over the world.
“Allow me at the outset to express the deep appreciation of the Government and people of Jamaica for the positive contribution you are making in promoting Jamaica’s interests in your respective countries and regions. You have singularly and collectively provided an avenue for Jamaica to expand and strengthen its bilateral relations with a wide range of countries . through this network of Honorary Consulates located on all continents, together with some 20 diplomatic missions and consulates,” Minister Hylton said.
He further noted that as integral components of Jamaica’s foreign service, it was critical that Honorary Consuls were fully cognizant of the broad tenets of Jamaica’s foreign policy and the underlining principles by which it is guided.
Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the two-day conference is aimed at updating Honorary Consuls on government policies and programmes. It is also a mechanism to deepen dialogue between the Consuls and government officials.
“This conference, which is being held on the eve of the World Conference of Honorary Consuls, is an opportunity for government to update them on what is being done in the country, so that they can represent Jamaica’s interests even better overseas,” Senator Hylton told JIS News.