Minister of Industry, Investment, and Commerce Karl Samuda, is to visit Canada in April, to look at one-stop facilities created to support business development.
He will be looking for measures that can be adopted and implemented in Jamaica, against the background of challenges arising in facilitating the growth of business and trade, locally.
Addressing the official launch of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association’s (JMA) Hidden Costs Study, at the Association’s Duke Street office, downtown Kingston, on Wednesday (March 25), Mr. Samuda said the study noted that more time was spent on revenue protection than on trade facilitation.
“The Customs Department is there to collect its revenue, but it must not frustrate business in the process. The systems that are in place must assist to speed up business (development), because time is money,” the Minister said.
Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Karl Samuda (left), converses with President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Omar Azan, during the official launch of the JMA’s Hidden Costs Study, at the association’s offices in downtown Kingston on March 25. Mr. Samuda was the guest speaker.
“I read, with keen interest, the frustration that attends so many who have to leave raw materials and other parts for machine repairs, simply because they can’t go through the frustration of the forms, because there may be one missing. We can’t spend $1,000 just to correct a problem that costs just $10,” he argued.
In this regard, he proposed refocussing the measures that will facilitate trade, while instituting processes to protect revenue, but not one at the expense of the other.
Mr. Samuda noted that his State Minister, Michael Stern, travelled to Mauritius recently to look at their one-stop facilities. Mr. Samuda’s trip to Canada is expected to include Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver.
He said that he would observe what is happening there, and what Jamaica could adopt.
This is in addition to the collaborative efforts involving the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce’s (JCC) ‘Regs and Leg’ initiative, and Jamaica Trade and Invest’s (JTI) Target Competitiveness Committee, which seek to facilitate business development.
“We need to look at those things that are duplicated. You can’t be trying to achieve one objective, but have to go to three (or) four different places. We must eliminate waste, we must cut back on luxuries that we can’t afford,” he suggested.
The JMA’s Hidden Costs Study, seeks to broaden discussion on the obstacles hindering competitiveness in the local productive sector, as well as to define and map out competitiveness problems and global environmental factors.
The study was undertaken with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).