Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) President, Diane Edwards, says more value-added products need to be exported to the European Union (EU), to reverse the decline in trade with the bloc. “We need to diversify away from commodities like banana and sugar into value- added products. So, we have coffee, which can become a value-added product.
We have many food producers who have been producing unique and interesting items,” she said. Ms. Edwards was speaking to JIS News at a CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) workshop, held at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on October 2. Brought into effect on December 29, 2008, the EPA applies duty-free-quota-free market access to all products from CARIFORUM countries, except arms.
Since the signing of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA on October 15, 2008, Jamaica’s trade with the EU has declined by 67 per cent. Ms. Edwards is recommending branding locally produced goods as “authentic Jamaican” to be marketed in Europe. “Jamaican music is also another huge opportunity, which we have never used to promote Jamaican products. There are about 20 to 30 music festivals in Europe. We need a programme to position Jamaican cuisine, music and the whole lifestyle as a vehicle to sell our products,” she said.
Meanwhile, the JAMPRO Head said plans are in the offing to position Jamaica in the top 10 of Doing Business. “We are actually working very hard with the World Bank on a specific agenda, on a specific menu of steps, which will take us into the top 10,” she said. A part of the process will be to make the “permitting and approvals process easier, which is really critical,” Ms. Edwards said.
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Published Date: October 3rd, 2018
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