Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Government remains keenly committed to strengthening the ties of trade and friendly relations established with the United Kingdom (UK) centuries ago.
He was addressing the ‘Jamaica Going Global: UK Partners and You’ business forum, which was staged by the British High Commission at the Hilton Resort and Spa in Montego Bay on Friday (November 17).
The forum was the first in a series of discussions on the strengthening of international trade between Jamaica and the UK, and provided insights on how Jamaican firms can do business there.
Dr. Chang said Jamaica’s pledge to strengthening its bond with the UK is predicated on, among other things, the friendly and cooperative relations that the country has maintained with Great Britain even after “many decades of economic and social changes”.
“It is our firm belief that our survival is one hinged on collaboration and equitable partnerships to the benefit of all citizens,” he noted.
“Be assured of the commitment of this Government in facilitating these partnerships to the benefit of both our economies, and to secure for the Jamaican people a nation that is ‘the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business’,” Dr. Chang added.
The Minister told the forum that Jamaica is leveraging the value of its global brand to penetrate new markets and strengthen existing trade ties by “maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment, and with continued investments in infrastructure and structural reforms”.
He said the Government is achieving this by addressing supply-side constraints; improving quality standards; the application of science, technology and innovation; improving productivity; and fostering entrepreneurship, including through the internationalisation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
“We are ready to take advantage of new opportunities to share the best of Jamaican products, skills and culture in this highly globalised market. It is our firm belief that our survival is one hinged on collaboration and equitable partnerships to the benefit of all citizens,” he said.
“Unique and quality offerings are what will distinguish markets and drive economic growth and development. It is for this reason that we continue to invest heavily in our ports and harbours to ensure that our logistics infrastructure makes it easy to trade with us and easy to vacation with us. We are also aggressively upskilling our workforce to meet the demands of an increasingly automated world,” he noted further.
Dr. Chang reminded the attendees that Jamaica is a place of choice for investment, as the country has continuously demonstrated an incomparable level of resilience to challenges resulting from global economic pressures.
“With these setbacks, a weaker country would curl up and shy away from the international marketplace. But not Jamaica…,” he boasted.
Dr. Chang said the Government intends to build on the economic gains, and make Jamaica among the first markets considered for “the business, medical and legal outsourcing industry, which accounts for the fastest growing sector worldwide”.