Tue | Apr 7, 2020

Ahmad: Post-Brexit Ja relations could strengthen

Published:Saturday | February 29, 2020 | 12:12 AM


Trade relations between Jamaica and the United Kingdom (UK) will continue unhindered when the UK secedes from the European Union (EU) next year and could even be strengthened as a result of work being done now.

This assurance came on Thursday from the UK’s high commissioner to Jamaica, Asif Ahmad, during a reception at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel for Britain-based companies, as well as a wide range of local firms that will be participating in the UK-Jamaica trade fair on the grounds of King’s House today.

This year’s third staging, to be held under the theme ‘Creativity is GREAT’, is projected to be on a much grander scale, with the location able to hold more booths. A song competition will also be hosted.

Responding to concerns that Brexit could impact Jamaica negatively, Ahmad said that the island was more likely to benefit.

“I can do more than just allay fears because we actually have a signed agreement between the Caribbean countries and the UK, and on the first of January 2021, it is a seamless transition from what obtained with the EU to the new. Not many parts of the world have got this agreement, but we’ve got one here. We’re good to go,” he disclosed.

He pointed out that two and a half years ago, discussions about the UK-Jamaica fair centred on the need to rightsize the trade equation between Britain and its former colony.

“With the UK-Jamaica fair, we really started to do what every business does, which is to raise brand awareness that Britain, yes, is full of tradition, but we are doing new things as well, in terms of innovation, etc.”

The fair will provide sponsors and invitees with an arena to not only showcase innovation, but also establish connections and opportunities both locally and within the UK. It is intended to bridge the gap between consumers, business owners, and industry leaders from the UK and Jamaica, facilitating opportunities for growth and collaboration.