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Jamaica: Brown emphasizes link between maritime transport, trade

Jamaica: Brown emphasizes link between maritime transport, trade

KINGSTON: Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade State Minister, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, has underscored the important and “inextricable” link between maritime transport, trade and economic development.
Mr. Brown said this link is particularly important for Jamaica and other Caribbean countries, which, as small island developing states, are heavily dependent on external markets and maritime transport.
The State Minister was speaking at a maritime industry dinner, hosted by the Women in Maritime Association Caribbean (WiMAC), at the Terra Nova Hotel on September 24, to commemorate Maritime Awareness Week, which was observed from September 20-26.
Mr. Brown said for Jamaica, exports represent approximately 11 percent of the county’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He pointed out that this is a figure “that we are seeking to increase, if we are to meaningfully expand our exports and integrate fully into the global trading system, including global value chains.”
The State Minister emphasised that an efficient maritime transportation system is essential to achieve this.
He said this development has been recognised in CARICOM and was accorded high priority status in the Regional Aid for Trade Strategy.
The State Minister pointed out that a strengthened maritime transport infrastructure in CARICOM is a key objective of the strategy, adding that a Transportation Commission was established by regional Heads of Government as part of the process of implementing the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).
According to Mr. Brown, transportation, and maritime transportation in particular, has the potential to fuel the regionalization of CARICOM’s production and exports; increase intra-regional trade within the context of the CSME, as well as extra regional trade; and increase port productivity.
“The maritime community is, therefore, an important interlocutor. It is also very relevant as we seek to implement the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement and establish Jamaica as a global logistics hub,” he said.