Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh, has called on the private sector to seek to take advantage of opportunities created through trade arrangements such as the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh, makes a point during his presentation in the 2010/11 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 13).
“In the implementation of trade agreements, the private sector must find creative ways of tapping into the existing potential to expand our productive base, increase productivity levels, and penetrate new markets, buttressed, of course, by Government action to unblock bureaucratic log-jams,” he said.
Minister Baugh was making his contribution to the 2010/11 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 13).
He said his Ministry is prepared to lend all necessary support to Jamaican enterprises in maintaining and achieving market access and providing information about these agreements and negotiations.
He noted that the Government is determined to seek every opportunity to expand the country’s trade capacity to promote sustainable economic growth and development.
“The direct corollary to the negotiation of a trade agreement is the development and expansion of our productive base to enable us to take advantage of the market access for goods and services, which is absolutely indispensable. We can only achieve economic growth through increased production and more investments, particularly in the area of services,” he pointed out.
As it relates negotiations, in which Jamaica is engaged, Dr. Baugh said that the country is actively involved in trade issues at the multilateral, regional and bilateral levels, and will continue to be fully engaged in the multilateral negotiating process within the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha Development Round.
Jamaica’s interest in these talks, he said, is the development of a rules-based system, which takes account of the development needs of small and vulnerable economies.
“It is very important that we forge and form alliances with other small economies and middle income countries, because it is the power of these alliances that can assist us to make the weight and the concerns of small countries felt at the level of international negotiations,” he noted.
In the meantime, he said that the Government is engaged in preparations for Jamaica’s 2011 Trade Policy Review (TPR), which is the country’s third such review in the WTO.
“We very much welcome this in-depth and comprehensive review of our national trade policy (framework), which helps us to evaluate our achievements in implementing trade policy,” Dr. Baugh said.