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Commerce the Heartbeat of Jamaica’s Economy

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Executives of The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) recently met with Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson-Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. The discussions led to an agreement by both parties to strengthen collaborative efforts to enrich Jamaica’s competitiveness in the global economy. It is without doubt that bolstering Jamaica’s international presence will attract new investments and export prospects across sectors. Sectors of interest include tourism, agribusiness, business process outsourcing and food and beverage. These sentiments echoed the views which were expressed recently by diplomatic officers who visited our offices and shared their countries’ interest in trade with Jamaica. 

President Neita expressed a profound interest in the opportunities for expanding the awareness of Jamaica’s suitability for international trade. He highlighted the use of virtual trade missions as a tool for business matchmaking activities; promoting investment and trade opportunities and cultivating strong business relationship with foreign investors. To this end, Senator Johnson Smith endorsed the JCC’s endeavours geared towards optimizing trade. She stated that while commerce provides an environment for the economy to thrive, the relationships should be managed to ensure that no one is left behind. Senate Johnson-Smith noted the strident steps taken by the Government to protect and provide SMEs, with the signing of the Trade Mark Act that allows the government to accede to the Madrid Protocol which will take effective in July 2022. This legislation is crucial to the creative industry.  

Senator Johnson Smith maintained, that while Jamaica is open to trade and commerce, stakeholders must do their part to ensure that SMEs are protected and each trade venture is effectively managed. She also noted that there existed many underutilized trade lines available for facilitating commerce and asked that we promote these lines to our membership. President Neita said that the JCC anticipates these collaborative efforts with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to be facilitated through further technical meetings to ensure there is reciprocity for both existing and potential investors. 

In addition to strengthening existing global trade ties and widening Jamaica’s trade reach, they committed to working closely on reinvigorating trade in the downtown Kingston community.