JIS News

Another public/private sector partnership has been forged which will see over 570 persons from approximately 200 companies who offer services to the trading community being trained to use Jamaica Trade Point, the trade facilitation portal.
In this, Jamaica Trade Point has joined forces with the New Economy Project (NEP), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Jamaica Export Association (JEA), Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) and the Institute of Management and Production (IMP).
IMP and the JEA have partnered to administer the online training programme, which is sponsored by USAID’s NEP, at a cost of $1.5 million. There will be 26 sessions spanning March and April.
The training offered, which will focus on three areas including, the Export Process, the Import Process and Computer competency, is aimed at familiarizing small and medium sized enterprises with the Jamaica Trade Point programme to increase usage of the system making them party to various advantages. The sessions will include instructions on how to complete various forms for Customs, Trade Board, JAMPRO’s Export Registration System, specific procedures related to these agencies and using Credit Cards to make online payments.
Speaking at the launch of the training programme last week (Feb. 19) at JAMPRO’s Trafalgar Road Headquarters in Kingston, Development Minister Dr. Paul Robertson emphasized that “training (was) essential to success in transforming (the) economy.”
He said as more organizations including the government continue to utilize technology to become more efficient and more business and investor friendly, it was also necessary to bring stakeholders in both the private and public sector in tune with the new technology through training.
Dr. Robertson further pointed out that though tangible benefits were already being realized as a result of Jamaica link with the global network of trade points; greater benefits were being anticipated “with the transformation of the society through increased use of technology.”
He added that it was the government’s aim to first revolutionize the entire government machinery and to increase awareness and access to technology for all citizens including those residing in rural areas. Dr. Robertson stressed that at the “bottom line of all the efforts was the issue of enhancing Jamaica’s competitiveness,” and bringing the country in line with international standards.
The Development Minister said this was further impetus for the urgency being given to the promulgation of the e-legislation, which will enable further progress. The legislation will be passed this year and will enable all trade related activities to be done electronically.
In the meantime, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Senator Deika Morrison who delivered the keynote address, said the programme was another powerful example of public/private sector partnership and encouraged members of the business community to take advantage of the opportunity to become efficient in the use of the technology.
She reinforced the Ministry’s support for projects, which reduced government expenditure and had the potential to “generate increased levels of productivity, economic activity and revenue for the country.”
USAID’s Mission Director, Karen Turner in her presentation, said the support for the training programme was part of USAID’s four-year partnership with the government and the private sector to enhance Jamaica’s competitiveness. She reiterated the Agencies commitment to providing support for activities geared at improving Jamaica’s business environment.
She noted that the portal had been recognized as one of the most comprehensive trade portal programmes and an ideal example of public/private partnership. She said such a tool showed Jamaica’s ability to exploit technology to its advantage.
President of JAMPRO, Patricia Francis, said that the occasion was a significant one, citing the importance of the system being in place and the need for persons to be able to use the technology.
Jamaica Trade Point is Jamaica’s trade facilitation portal where both exporters and importers can carry out their trade related transactions with the relevant organisations online and in a seamless manner. This initiative came out of the Government’s Public Sector Modernisation Programme and its e-government thrust, with efforts to rationalise public sector processes, thereby significantly improving trade facilitation with resulting increases in the country’s competitiveness.
The Trade Point Partners are, Jamaica Customs, JAMPRO, Trade Board Limited, Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ), Port Authority of Jamaica and Fiscal Services Limited, which is the technology partner.
Further developments with the trade facilitation portal will see the Shipping Association of Jamaica finalizing plans for its paperless Port Community System; its e-manifest should also be fully operational within the portal by April 2004.

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