Sun | Feb 17, 2019

Jamaicans urged to prepare for duty-free trading

Published:Wednesday | November 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/ Gleaner Writer
Metry Seaga (left), president of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA), addresses journalists during a press briefing held yesterday at the JMEA headquarters on Duke Street in Kingston. Seated beside him is Brian Pengelley, immediate past president of the JMEA.

Jamaicans have been encouraged to get their businesses in order to tap into the huge export potential when Haiti opens up for duty-free trading less than a year from now.

President of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA), Metry Seaga's, comments came yesterday at a press conference at the association's headquarters at 85A Duke Street, downtown Kingston.

"We recently learned at COTED (Council for Trade and Economic Development) that by October 2019, Haiti will put in place the administrative and legislative framework for duty-free trading of goods. This is an opportunity that must not pass us by.

"Haiti is a big market right next door to us and we must use this opportunity as business people and as manufacturers to get in there, and get in there early and start to sell our goods and services," Seaga further advised.

"In addition to the local and regional population, the growth in tourist arrivals requires ongoing dynamism and energy to strengthen the linkages between manufacturing, tourism and agriculture, or else we will forever remain stagnant and not grow, because the truth is, it's not whether it should be services or goods, it is that we will see growth when our goods are linked to our services industry."