THE HIGHLY anticipated year 2000 is now behind us and what a year it was. Depending on how you choose to view 2000, as either the beginning or the end of the Millennium, there is no denying the fact that this year was indeed significant for all.
The year began with speculation regarding worldwide disruptions as a result of the much feared Y2K bug. However, our fears have been alleviated and thankfully, we have been able to continue our personal lives and commercial operations unaffected by any widespread dislocation.
As we look back at the year 2000, mention has to be made of the sense of pride felt by the CBAJ as we played host to our counterparts from more than 25 member countries of the International Federation of Custom Brokers Association (IFCBA). For five days, Ocho Rios was the venue for workshops, panel discussions and general conviviality during the staging of the sixth world Conference of the IFCBA. The information which came out of this historic occasion will indeed prove invaluable to all participants as we seek to chart a course of growth and development in 2001.
During the past year, the CBAJ continued its quest to the local trade facilitation industry in the vanguard of international trends regarding efficiency and professionalism. In this respect, the long-standing concerns regarding the automation of the Customs Department again came up for mention in Y2K. Efforts to have activities online in the second city were met with the same hitches as the implementation process in Kingston. The CBAJ is, however, working with the authorities to iron out these kinks, with the hope of moving the industry forward during the year ahead.
For 2001, the CBAJ is looking forward to a year of growth and development not only for our members, but for the entire country. As we are painfully aware an enhanced economy and improved standard of living, are the responsibility of every Jamaican. Our success and failures are all interlinked. It therefore behoves every Jamaican to play their role towards achieving the national good.
As we witness the dawn of the year 2001, may the peace, joy, togetherness and goodwill that is felt at this time transcend into the coming months and indeed the years to come. God bless you all.
Hyacinth Chantrielle, President, Customs Brokers' Association of Jamaica.