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Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, says there has been stability in the cement industry, and a reduction in market prices, since the introduction of the regime allowing the private sector to import up to 15 per cent of cement for the local market, free of the Common External Tariff (CET).
“We have seen where there has been great improvement in service. We want to keep it that way, but at the same time, we want to make sure that there is no threat to our manufacturing of cement in Jamaica,” Mr. Samuda said on January 6, at a press conference at his New Kingston office.He said that the Ministry was working to put mechanisms in place to ensure that the levels of imports are contained within the 15 per cent limit. “Once we determine that the level of imports is sufficient to create a problem, we have the mechanisms and the authority to ensure that further imports would offer no benefit (to them), because they would be importing it at a loss,” he said.Mr. Samuda informed that he has so far received the support of the importing community, and expects the cooperation of Carib Cement, with which he will be meeting to hold discussions on the matter.