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“Jamaica Trade Desk News” Contact us at (868) 675-8862 Ext. 242 Email: M O N T H L Y

HIGHLIGHT ON TRADE DESK: Focus on Trade Desk activities

Visit to Jamaica Advocating for the improvement of the CFDD INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

TTMA Events 3

Seminar on financ4 ing opportunities for SME development

Jamaica Updates JMA 44th Annual Awards Banquet


6th International 6 Food Safety Conference Focus on Jamaica Manufacturer of the year 2011: Wisynco


Kingston sales blitz in Trinidad


CARICOM Corner « One from ten revi- 8 sited » Message from TTMA


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Trade Facilitation Desk: building a new trade bridge between T&T and Jamaica... Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica.

Trade Desk Officer

Forum on Competitiveness



Despite receiving government’s endorsement, the initiative remains a solely private sector affair that has emerged to improve and increase the volume of trade in goods and services between Jamaica and T&T. In June and September 2012, several consultations were undertaken in Kingston by the Trade Desk Officer, Mrs. Pichi-Ayers and From left to right: Mrs. Thasya Chin-Fletcher- JCC Membership Officer, Mr. Milton Samuda- Naïka JCC Immediate Past President & JAMPRO Chairman, Mrs. Naïka Pichi-Ayers– TTMA JA Trade TTMA Director/ BGL Group Desk Officer, Senator Anthony Hylton- Minister of Industry, Investment & Commerce and Mr. Paul Quesnel- TTMA Director & BGL Group Corporate Relations Manager, greeted each other Corporate Relations Manager, Mr. Paul Quesnel. at the Minister’s Offices. These consultations were Since May 1st, 2012, a Trade Facilitation Desk has held with current and prospective exporters of been operational, based at the Trinidad and To- goods and services to T&T, BSO’s and represenbago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA). The tatives of public sector institutions that play key objective of this initiative is to approach pragmati- roles in the export process. The main goal was to cally the trade issues plaguing the relationship be- promote the Trade Facilitation Desk and give a tween T&T and Jamaica, through the offering of better understanding of its role and various missupport services to aggrieved parties, and finding sions. It was designed as a key point to facilitate solutions at the ground level. The Trade Desk was business opportunities, and ease up trade chalalso established to tackle existing and apparent non- lenges, through encouraging positive and protariff barriers to trade, in order to improve market ductive dialogue among the Jamaican and T&T access, and promote a free and fair trading environ- business communities. ment in T&T for Jamaican exporters, among other countries. The Trade Facilitation Desk is a proactive and practical step in the direction of assisting JamaiIts creation was driven by the foresight of the Ber- can manufacturers and exporters who wish to mudez Group Ltd (BGL), which has also been piv- access the T&T market by: otal in providing the financial support for the proinforming about import regulations and ject for the initial period of a year. This venture is entry requirements; a joint partnership between BGL, TTMA, the representing their interests in T&T; Trinidad & Tobago Chamber of Industry & Comfacilitating networking and business matchmerce, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, and making with local companies; all signatories to the MOU governing its operation. addressing major areas of concerns to the Subsequently, the Trade Desk has received technirelevant trade and regulatory institutions. cal support from the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association and the Jamaica Exporters’ Association, and It is clear that the level of interest showed by Jastrong encouragements from the American Chamber maican businesses has been satisfying and augurs of Commerce of Jamaica, the Jamaica Promotions well for the achievement of tangible results in the Corporations, the Ministry of Industry, Investment medium term. and Commerce, as well as the Ministry of Foreign



Trade Desk officer visit to Kingston... From September 24th -28th, 2012, Mrs. Pichi-Ayers and Mr. Quesnel visited several Jamaican factories, to gain better insight into the quality of processes, production systems and capacities, as well as to engage with the management and members of staff with a view to enhancing communication, and thereby building stronger industry relationships. The factory tour was a great exposure in which seven Jamaican manufacturing companies were visited. These visits highlighted the quality, safety and efficiency of these companies’ products as their top priority, as well as, the rigorous policies that drive every step of product design, manufacturing and marketing across their businesses. It was also a good opportunity to facilitate discussions with private-public sector entities, to provide a greater understanding and appreciation for the Trade Facilitation Desk, as we look forward to a multi-pronged approach for continuous and sustainable collaboration between all major players. During the various

consultations with the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Jamaica Anti-Dumping and Subsidies Commission, as well as the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, it was agreed that information sharing should be the main focus, as all institutions were looking forward to strengthening synergies among Jamaican stakeholders to address common issues. Stakeholders agreed that the Trade Desk has already begun to facilitate effective communication across Jamaican public-private sectors, as well as increasing awareness. It was also mentioned that the initiative could be expanded to include Barbados, as the Trade Desk Officer has been strongly involved in two matters recently. Jamaican companies should take the opportunity to utilize the services provided by the Trade Desk to do more matchmaking and make a significant change to trade. The mission to Jamaica clearly showed the need to encourage networking between T&T and Jamaican institutions, organizations and businesses to promote a more positive image of trading in the Caribbean.

Advocating for the improvement of the CFDD... The Chemistry, Food and Drugs Division (CFDD) under the Ministry of Health is primarily responsible for the administration and the enforcement of the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations and the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Act and Regulations. It is T&T’s main regulatory body that monitors all aspects of the importation, manufacture, storage, distribution, sale, fraud and deception in labeling and marketing, as well as disposal of food and drugs. Any individual, business or broker wishing to import, manufacture or sell food or drugs in TT must have them inspected and approved by the CFDD prior to importation, manufacture or sale. This process was established to ensure the quality, purity, safety and suitability of food and drugs imported or manufactured in TT.

have not encountered any difficulties to be sold across the region, and internationally. It is clear that the CFDD continues to acts as an impediment to trade, instead of functioning as a facilitative and regulatory agency to the local, regional and international manufacturers. It continues to undermine the efforts of T&T businesses, who wish to do profitable business with CARICOM Member States.

In an effort to improve the situation, the TTMA has been lobbying the Government over the past years, by addressing consistently all these issues, in which the private sector is seeking an urgent need for updated TT’s legislation, as a quick response to remove the perceived lack of credibility and accountability of the CFDD, and by extension of the Republic of T&T. The Jamaica-TT Trade Facilitation Desk has also been assisting the Despite the significant role of this division, local TTMA, in advocating an improvement of the protocol manufacturers, as well as businesses across the region, and procedures of the CFDD, in an effort to encourage particularly in Jamaica and Barbados have voiced trade and promote T&T as an open, fair and free market. their displeasure through the media and to their re- The lobbying efforts undertaken with the Ministry of spective governmental institutions, complaining about Trade, Industry and Investment and other business supperceived unfair and unjustified treatments of their port organizations have led to several consultations over goods. The lack of transparency and consistent stan- the past two months, to ensure efficient performance of dardization processes, as well as staff shortage, inade- the regulatory agency’s functions and operations, quate equipments, and unpredictable timeframes in the within the spirit of the law, with respect to the intent of CFDD’s operation, as well as its poor functioning, CARICOM. have resulted in mounting frustration, lengthy and The Trade Desk has also recommended the creation of frequent delays, cost overruns, and negative fallout an “Exporters’ manual with an emphasis on regulafrom other CARICOM counterparts. In fact, several tory requirements” by the CFDD, to better facilitate products from the region have been deemed non- trade into T&T. This manual is presently being develcompliant with labeling, packaging and content re- oped and will be shared with stakeholders before the end quirements under the T&T regulations, however, they of 2012.




Forum on Corporate Innovation & Internationalization.... How does Public Policy promote this? The theme of the Trinidad and Tobago Budget 2012-2013 is "Stimulating Growth, Generating Prosperity,” and several measures were outlined aimed at addressing some of the pressing concerns affecting this country's international competitiveness, including efficiency of Government institutions and services and labour. Several international agencies such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, have urged Governments to focus on productivity, innovation and reduction of public debt, in order to stimulate growth and improve competitiveness.

From left to right: Mr. Dominic Hadeed– TTMA President, Mrs. Natasha Mustapha-Scott– TTMA CEO, Minister of Planning & Sustainable Development, Dr. Bhoe Tewarie, Senator Vasant Bharath, Minister of Trade, Industry & Investment, and Senator Larry Howai, Minister of Finance & the Economy during the Competitiveness Forum..

On Tuesday 16th October 2012, the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association hosted a panel discussion on the factors affecting this country’s competitiveness at the Hilton Trinidad. Panellists included the Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development, Dr. Bhoe Tewarie, Senator Vasant Bharath, Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Senator Larry Howai, Minister of Finance and the Economy, Mr. Chandricka Seeterram, Chairman, Council for Competitiveness & Innovation Mrs. Indera Sagewan-Alli, Executive Director of the Caribbean Competitiveness Centre and Mrs. Marla Dukharan, Group Economist, RBC Financial. In welcoming attendees, TTMA President Dominic Hadeed stated that the forum sought to answer the question: How can public policy be effective in promoting innovation, competitiveness and internationalization? He noted that these matters require long term planning, transparency, accountability and the need to make tough and unpopular leadership decisions, within a short term political cycle.

Minister Bharath's presentation focused on establishing an enabling business environment by removing the impediments to trade, improving ease of doing business, encouraging greater investment in the public and private sectors. Senator Bharath stated that “the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment has set the bold target of placing Trinidad and Tobago in the top ten countries in the world to do business.” The Minister spoke at length about the close collaborations among agencies to address the areas of the number of days to register a business; the number of days to obtain a construction permit; the number of days to obtain commercial connections for water and electricity; and making Customs and Excise an easier place to do business.

Mr. Seeterram of the Council for Competitiveness and Innovation stated that the top 20 exporting companies in the country outside of the energy sector have been identified, and the Council has strategically begun to work with each of those companies to see the extent to which it can expand their export capability. Mrs. Sagewan-Alli of the Caribbean Centre for Competitiveness focussed her discussion on “Building Competitive Industries – Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie noted that pro- Moving beyond talk to implementation”. She noted that ductivity was at the heart of competitiveness and competitiveness is key to achieving sustainable developcreativity was at the heart of innovation. He stressed ment. She stressed the need to build a strong private that the business community must pay close attention sector that is able to innovate and export aggressively to strengthening their business environment by endeav- to international markets, and create sustainable emouring to implement a variety of initiatives. “Adopt ployment. new technologies, upgrade training at all levels, improve poor physical environments, develop ideal work For more information, kindly contact Ms. Julie Ramlal ethics and adapt best practise in leadership,” he ex- (Manager– Marketing, Communications & Events) plained. “ JAMAICA






Financing opportunities for SME development In order to ensure that its membership is well-informed about financing opportunities available outside of the formal banking structure, the TTMA hosted a seminar on 18th October, 2012 titled “Financing Opportunities for SME Development.” Fifty companies attended this session with presentations on four very different approaches to financing. Benefits of Going Public on the TTSE Wain Iton, Chief Executive Officer, T&T Stock Exchange (TTSE) presented on the local stock exchange, specifically highlighting that the potential for SMEs to raise capital on the stock market was a viable and realistic option for T&T businesses. He highlighted that a company’s debt/equity ratio and net worth will improve, and future financing alternatives will be enhanced by switching from a private to publicly traded company. The presentation was even more insightful, as he informed that the creation of the SME market in T&T, offered SMEs a 60% tax incentive. Ratings you can depend on – CariCRIS Wayne Dass, CEO, CariCRIS offered a presentation emphasizing CariCRIS’ aim for the growth and development of the SME sector by enhancing the ability of firms to access appropriately-priced financing. CariCRIS also aims to assist banks to set lending rates to SMEs based on a more structured and scientific measurement of risk SMEs may rely on credit ratings as an independent verification of their own credit-worthiness and the resultant value of the instruments they may be able to acquire. Credit ratings are used by investors, issuers, investment banks, broker-dealers, and governments. For investors, credit rating agencies increase the range of investment alternatives and provide independent, easy-to-use measurements of relative credit risk; this generally increases the efficiency of the market, lowering costs for both borrowers and lenders. FINPYME Credit FINPYME Credit is a reliable source of financing for eligible SMEs from the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC). This type of financing is available in the form of standardized small loans in amounts rang-

ing from US$100,000 to US$600,000, with an expedited internal approval process and a potential interest rate of 5% to 7%. FINPYME Credit loans can be used for a variety of business purposes, including investments in working capital and fixed assets. Direct Assistance for your company Kirk Brown, Senior Grant Advisor, Caribbean Export Development Agency presented on the grant funding offered by this agency through their Direct Assistance Grant Scheme. It is a funding facility specifically designed to provide financial assistance to legally registered businesses with the potential to export their products and services. The programme provides reimbursement financing to firms/ individuals/Business Support Organisations to finance projects and actions. TTMA is pleased to note that the last call for proposals was in June 2012 with 92 beneficiaries of the Regular Procedure Grants contracts being awarded by September 2012, with total funding of €2,498,794.04. Innovation through competition The TTMA was unable to have a presenter from the Compete Caribbean - Enterprise Innovation Challenge Fund (EICF), however information was shared with attendees as the competition was launched on October 1st and runs until November 30th. The EICF has two funding options - The Innovation Window and the Support to Clusters Window. The Innovation Window is designed to probe for and develop the ingenuity of the Caribbean private sector by encouraging firms and entrepreneurs across the Caribbean states to compete for non-reimbursable grant funding up to US $500,000. The JA-TT Trade Facilitation Desk takes this opportunity to encourage Jamaican firms to take advantage of the CariCRIS programme, the FINPYME Credit, the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme, as well as the EICF, as all can be accessible by Jamaican companies. For further information on the financing opportunities seminar, please contact Giselle Roberts (TTMA Membership Officer)

Ms. Kavita Maharaj, Consultant for IDB presenting on FINPYME Credit programme at the TTMA’s financing seminar.




Celebrating Jamaica manufacturing excellence... (1/2) tinguished guests who joined us in recognition of manufacturers that have been a strong pillar of Jamaica’s development as we celebrate Jamaica’s 50th year of independence.

Winners at the 44th JMA Awards Banquet at the Wyndham

To mark the 65th Anniversary of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), manufacturing excellence was recognized at the 44th Annual Awards Banquet under the theme “Buy Jamaican… Build Jamaica for Jamaica 50”, on October 4, 2012, at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel. The Award Ceremony exemplified the elite of manufacturing innovation, commitment to excellence and dedication to employees and community as JMA members vied for top awards in twenty-five categories. Additionally the Banquet featured: “Flavours of Jamaica 50” meal: this incorporated products from iconic companies such as Red Stripe, GraceKennedy, Jamaica Broilers Group/Best Dressed Chicken, Rainforest Seafood and JP Tropical Foods, tantalizing the taste buds of all patrons. Silent Auction: patrons bidded on their favourite locally manufactured goods from processed foods to ceramic décor pieces as well as hotel accommodations and local attractions. Red carpet Spotlight Fashion segment which was hosted by Miss Jamaica World 2006, Sara Lawrence and Mrs. Novia McDonald Whyte, Senior Associate Editor-Lifestyle and Social Content, Jamaica Observer Ltd. This was aimed at promoting local fashion designers, by encouraging patrons to wear Jamaican designed outfits. The keynote speaker was the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister who shared on “The Way Forward for the Manufacturing Sector”. Over five hundred (500) guests were in attendance including the Hon. Marigold Harding, Custos Rotulorum for St. Andrew, the Hon. Anthony Hylton Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, members of the Diplomatic Corp, among other dis“ JAMAICA




The winners of the Awards were: Product Group Awards - Chemical, Cosmetics & Pharmaceutical Product Group: Newport Fersan (Jamaica) Ltd. - Electrical, Electronics & Automotive Product Group Award: Nicorp Ltd - Food & Agro Product Group: J Wray & Nephew Ltd. - For Minerals & Metal Products: Caribbean Cement Company Ltd - Printing, Packaging and Paper Products: Corrpak Jamaica Ltd - Textiles & Sewn Products: Designs By Marc - Furniture, Bedding and Wooden Products Group: Boss Furniture Company Ltd. Special Recognition Awards Presentation - Community Development Award in the small manufacturer category: P.A. Benjamin Manufacturing Co. Ltd. - Community Development Award in the large manufacturer category: Red Stripe - HIV/AIDS Advocacy Award: Red Stripe. Robert Lightbourne Award for Skill and Productivity - In the category of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME): P.A. Benjamin Manufacturing Co. Ltd. - In the category of Large Manufacturer: Red Stripe. Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce Award for Competitiveness: P.A. Benjamin Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPSCo) Award for the Best Use of Energy and Resource Efficiency: Dairy Industries (Jamaica) Ltd. National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ) Best Environmental Management Programme: Berger Paints Jamaica Ltd. Digicel Business ICT Award: J. Wray and Nephew Ltd. Jamaica Council for Persons with Disability Enablement Award: Prestigious Bindery and Accessories. Nicola Gordon Rowe Buy Jamaican Award: Honey Bun Limited.



JMA 44th Annual Awards Banquet... (2/2) Champion Exporter Awards Champion Exporter Award in the category of Small Exporter: Spur Tree Spices Jamaica Ltd. Champion Exporter in the category of Medium Exporter: Agricultural Chemical Plant. The Champion Exporter in the category of Large Exporter: Red Stripe. Eddie Hall Award for New Manufacturer of the Year: Lifespan Company Ltd. C. Henderson-Davis Breakthrough Product of the Year Award: Edgechem Jamaica Limited for Automel Super.

Ray Hadeed Award for Best Small and Medium Sized Enterprise: P.A. Benjamin Manufacturing Co. Ltd. The Governor General’s Award for Excellence Manufacturer of the Year for 2011 sponsored by EXIM Bank: Wisynco Group Limited. For more information, kindly contact: Rochelle DeWalker (PRO)

6th International Food Safety Conference! The 6th International Food Safety Conference, convened by the Food Hygiene Bureau, was successfully staged from October 18-19th, 2012 at the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort & Spa in Montego Bay. The bi-annual event was attended by approximately 150 industry partners and stakeholders, with presenters from UK, USA, Canada and the Caribbean, under the theme “Food Safety Challenges, Changing World Economy, Culture and Technologies”. Opening keynote, the Hon. Ian Hayles, State Minister, Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries recognized the important role of the conference and declared that “safe food plays an integral role in food security and the health of our nation and our visitors, so in 2011 cabinet approved a food safety policy and the national agricultural health and food safety coordinating committee, with the agricultural competitiveness project and the cabinet’s modernization division prepared an implementation plan for this policy which is now before cabinet.” The Hon. Ffolkes-Abrahams, State Minister, Ministry of Industry Investment and Commerce, was the keynote on second day. She highlighted the 26th Session of the Codex Committee on fresh fruits and vegetables recently held just a few days prior at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel, stating it was “the first time that a small developing country such as Jamaica has been able to negotiate successfully with the US to co-host an event of this significance.” She also emphasized that “food safety is an important issue, which requires collaboration among various sector interests for the prevention of food-borne diseases, and our farm-

Elaborating further, she said “Panama is expanding its canal to accommodate large ships; we will also dredge our harbour, which is known as the 7th largest in the world, joining Singapore, Rotterdam, and Panama.” She encouraged Jamaican entities to “put their house in order or opportunity windows will be closed.” Sharon Parris-Chambers, Event Sponsor and Chairperson of the Conference, introduced Marva HewittHeaven, CEO of the Food Hygiene Bureau, who advocated a “farm to fork” approach as a way to safeguard local food businesses and consumer health. 60% of Jamaica’s income comes from Tourism and Food Export which totals approximately US$118 million (Based on figures for 2010). It is therefore important that we recognize the fragile product that benefits us all….The conference will address concerns regarding export issues, new legislation and impact on a local company’s ability to achieve certification for exports into overseas markets and the need for food businesses to adopt a proactive approach towards food safety.” Hon. Ffolkes-Abrahams’ endorsed the international conference and showed the importance of businesses preparing for future opportunities in Central America, which includes learning to speak Spanish. The conference presenters provided insightful, relevant and important information for the food and hospitality industries that if applied would advance Jamaica’s position globally. Those who missed this valuable conference can read the papers online at or contact Marva Hewitt-Heaven at



Wisynco: Jamaican Manufacturer of the year 2011! Wisynco a Jamaican-owned company is the proud recipient of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association Governor General’s award as Manufacturer of the year 2011. This is following the award for Break Through product, “Cran Wata”, for the year 2008. Manufacturing is taken seriously by the company and they continually give kudos to the staff for ensuring that a highest quality of products comes off the line.

Through the growth objectives strong initiatives were developed by launching in the USA through a partnership with the Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill restaurants making Bigga Soda its exclusive soft drink. There are 120 Golden Krust stores which will help to give the company the largest volume of Bigga outside of Jamaica. The plan is to aggressively push with this further expansion into the United States over the next three years. “The Innovators’’, staying true to their slogan, Wisynco is working on a number of new products that it hopes to debut soon. They have re-launched a brand under its Wata label called Cran Wata.

Wisynco started in plastic goods, supplying its own brand “sweet” which consists of disposable food and beverage ware such as plates, cups and containers to its home country of Jamaica. Wisynco later branched out into beverages and has developed great brands such as WATA, BIGGA, CRAN WATA and BOOM Energy Drink. The company also under license, manufactures and distributes a number of international brands such as CocaCola, Schweppes, Minute Maid and many others. The company was once responsible for making Jamaica the largest per capita consumer of Ocean Spray beverages. Unfortunately the company no longer markets and dis- A company with entrepreneurialism, innovation and tributes the brand. native pride at its heart, Wisynco is committed to developing products that people can enjoy across Wisynco now has products in 26 markets around the continents. Other priority markets now are the United world and its looking to continue on the growth path. The States, United Kingdom and the Caribbean. distribution of beverages began in the late ’90s, early 2000s when a beverage facility started under a new com- For more information on Wisynco, please contact Stepany called the Jamaican Drink Company. The first drink phen Dawkins (Export Manager) stemanufactured was BIGGA.

Experience Kingston in Trinidad... The Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association-Kingston Chapter, in association with The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and Caribbean Airlines, organized a sales trip to Trinidad recently to highlight all that their capital city, Kingston, the heartbeat of Jamaica has to offer in order to boost travel there. The Kingston team’s two days in Trinidad involved visiting travel agencies in and around Port of Spain on one day, and corporate appointments the second day, ending with a cocktail reception at The Courtyard by Marriott called “Experience Kingston”. Each delegate gave stimulating presentations supported by attractive visuals of each of their areas. To recap the presentations, Adrian Harrison of the JTB started with an overview of all that the beautiful island of Jamaica has to offer. The Norman Manley International Airport representative, Grace Morrison, then spoke of the newly refurbished hub, boasting expansive check-in, departure and arrival lounge areas, along with Club Kingston, the new VIP Lounge.

Maurice Bryan gave a presentation on Kingston, having numerous attractions, top hotels, restaurants and shopping for the discerning business or leisure traveler, and then spoke about his hotels-The Courtleigh Hotel & Suites and Knutsford Court Hotel, making way for Sophia Butler to showcase The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, and Christina Taylor to feature the Wyndham Kingston Hotel. Heron Thompson topped off the evening with showing how guests can get around Kingston in style through the services of Galaxy Tours, offering from car and bus service to limousine transfers. The invitees, a mix of travel agents and corporate representatives, were treated to a raffle for giveaways of weekends for two to the participating hotels in Kingston to experience it for themselves. For more information on Kingston, its attractions, hotels & more, you may contact The Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association at : 876-926-3635 or visit




One from ten revisited... When the late Dr. Eric Williams made his famous statement, "one from ten is zero", all and sundry then, at least in Trinidad & Tobago, respected and adhered to the direction taken by the esteemed leader. Everyone knows the result, the Federation failed, CARIFTA was tried and since then the English island states of the Caribbean region have been trying, unsuccessfully, to deepen the process of integration. As to the question of how deep the integration process is – the answer to this is subjective. Some may argue that the region is at the Customs Union level, others would say it is at the Common Market stage.

some territories given some sovereign countries' actions. It appears to the casual observer that countries within the region prefer to continue along the lines of national sovereign autocratic rule of play over the regional good of deepening and widening the integration movement, allowing for strength in numbers and pooling of resources thus preparing member states for the inevitable global free trade reality. The view of this layman is that Caricom must use the opportunity that is afforded to its members in having a regional trading bloc (CARICOM) to develop competencies to engage the wider world. All efforts The fact of the matter is that Caricom is nowhere close should be used to strengthen ties to, inter alia, build effito where it should be. When you consider that the Euro- ciencies, grow industries, add value, integrate production pean Union started its integration movement around the and enhance output both in goods and services, such that same time as Caricom, you will realise that this region is the region can continue to exist and expand it’s worth. a long way from achieving its goal of being fully inte- This will allow the countries belonging to Caricom to grated with the free movement of the factors of producgrow and find their niches in a growing single world tion assisting in the growth and prosperity of the region. economy where the developed and emerging countries Today, Member States of the region are still not seeing are seeking to capture the majority of the world's market the benefits of true unity. Put another way, Member shares for their own good. States continue to hold on to national sovereign posiTime is running out for the region. There are numerous tions over the long term possible gains to be had from a talks about countries going on their own. In many discitruly deepened integration movement. As such there plines it is being discussed: cricket, trade and education; continue to be, among other short comings, numerous there is talk to hold on to sovereignty over building the trade wars among the Member States of Caricom. At a integration movement. It is not too late to get it right, the time when the region should be moving in one particular region cannot afford another arithmetic faux pas; the direction that speaks to unity and deepened integration region may never get another chance. Now is the time to to combat the rigors of a globalized world trading envimake the harsh decisions for the overall good of the ronment, members of Caricom are continuing to put up region, even if in some instances the short term losses barriers against growing regional trade and development may appear unforgiving. Politicians, traders, NGOs, acaamong Member States. Can Caricom sovereign states demia, BSOs all need to nature the process now. survive the world's globalization drive on their own, without integrating? The obvious answer is no, yet it Contribution from the TTMA Trade Specialist Mr. looks as if that this is exactly what is being prescribed in Mahindra Ramesh Ramdeen

Message from the TTMA: The Board of Directors, Secretariat & membership of the TTMA takes this opportunity to extend our support and prayers to all of our Jamaican counterparts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The TTMA recognizes the adverse impact of such disasters on people; businesses and the economy and it is beyond a doubt a horrendous and catastrophic event that has affected your country. We empathize with our colleagues in Jamaica at this time and pledge our support to assist wherever possible in coming months. At the TTMA, we have encountered first hand in business, the passion and the power that is Jamaica and it is this power of a people that we believe will ensure the required strength to rebuild in the face of such disaster. We believe that the resolute tenacity and ingenuity that is synonymous with Jamaica will rise above this negative to return businesses and the country to operational normalcy. TTMA stands committed to partner with Jamaican manufacturers and exporters to overcome setbacks faced by Hurricane Sandy through the support of the Jamaica-TT Trade Desk now and moving forward. Our prayers are with you.

Š Copyright TTMA 2012 - The voice of business enterprises

Jamaica trade desk news issue 1 october 2012  

The Jamaica Trade Desk News is a monthly newsletter created under the initiative of the Jamaica-T&T Trade Facilitation Desk. The main obje...