Wed | Jul 18, 2018

Revised Foreign Trade Policy to be tabled in Parliament as White Paper soon

Published:Tuesday | June 19, 2018 | 3:14 PMPaul Clarke
Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith - File photo

Much is being placed on the Revised Foreign Trade Policy which was recently approved by Cabinet, as Government seeks to streamline policy coordination on trade across ministries, departments and agencies, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith has said.

Johnson Smith today told reporters at a rare press briefing at the Ministry’s offices in New Kingston that the policy paper is to shortly be tabled in Parliament as a White Paper.

“As a small, open economy, Jamaica needs trade to grow; trade is important and in fact is essential to growth,” said Johnson Smith.

“The policy establishes a framework for policy coordination across the various ministries, departments, and agencies and serves to ensure the mainstreaming of trade within national development priorities and objectives,” she added.

Johnson Smith said that an action plan has been developed in tandem with the policy and that in the coming days the ministry will hold consultation with stakeholders in the private sector to define the mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of the policy.

“This will be done to ensure everyone is engaged and not only sharing information but receiving information from the private sector at the appropriate levels and with appropriate regularity,” she noted.

“As we know the Government does not trade, it’s the private sector that trades and we want to modernise our means of consultation with the private sector and the best way to do this, having defined the framework, is to now get their feedback on what structure and modalities will work best for them,” Johnson Smith said.

The minister noted that her ministry has started discussions with the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica and the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Producers Association.

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