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Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce (IIC), Karl Samuda, has suggested that CARICOM identify and develop areas of comparative advantage, in order to deal effectively with the current global financial crisis.
“We have taken our eyes off the need to be more productive. We have taken our eyes off the need to apply technology appropriately. So that those things we can do and do well, we have failed to do, or we have done in a marginal way,” Mr. Samuda said.
“We have really not identified the areas where we have the potential for comparative advantage and really become efficient in preparation for this day. So, now it is catch up time but, unfortunately for us, its catch up time at a time when the world economy is on the decline,” he added.
He also suggested that the region move quickly to establish the infrastructure that will make it attractive for vessels passing through the Panama Canal to stop, in order to benefit from the increased access to North and South America, anticipated from the expansion of the Panama Canal.
Mr. Samuda was speaking at the launch of the CARICOM/Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Competitiveness Project, today (Feb.12) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston.
CARICOM Assistant Secretary General, Trade and Economic Integration, Ambassador Irwin La Rocque, explained that the CARICOM/CIDA trade and competitiveness project was designed to increase the operational capacity and effectiveness of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
He said that it is also designed to create a structure to ensure full participation of artisans, through standardised licensing and certification and mutual recognition of licences and certificates.
The project also seeks to create an improved harmonised administrative system, to allow single market beneficiaries to access their rights and promote the use of the various CSME arrangements.