Hon. Karl Samuda, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries
New Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, welcomes the merger of the industry and commerce portfolios with agriculture, which he says “opens the doors for a lot of opportunities for growth and for expansion in industry and in agriculture”.
The Minister, speaking to JIS News, shortly after taking the oath of office, during a ceremony for the swearing-in of Ministers at King’s House on Monday, March 7, said the union will create “the kinds of meaningful linkages” that can drive productivity and job creation.
Minister Samuda said he was looking forward to working with Minister without Portfolio, JC Hutchinson, who he said is a very experienced agriculturalist, and a trained practising farmer.
“We are going to sit down and look at where we can divide the load. Obviously, he is going to take most of that from agriculture and I will be emphasising a lot of the industry and commerce side of things.
“We will see how we can establish the linkages between the two (portfolios) and then set out to work very closely with the private sector ... to enhance their productivity, their output and the whole production of products that are used, for instance in the tourism industry,” Minister Samuda said.
The Minister said he will be working very closely with the Office of the Prime Minister on the development of the Caymanas enterprise zone, “where we are hoping to have a combination of local investment and foreign investment in that facility”.
The objective, he said, is to expand and create opportunities for the business processing outsourcing (BPO) sector, and employment of the mass population that exists in Southern St. Catherine and the Southern side of Kingston and St Andrew.
“That’s a job expansion, growth potential area that we are going to focus on,” he said.
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The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce is described as Jamaica's "Business Ministry." It's mandate is to lead the development of policies that will create growth and jobs, while achieving social inclusion and consumer protection. The Ministry, working its stakeholders is primarily responsible for business policy development, monitoring and evaluation, while giving direction and oversight to a cluster of implementing departments and agencies.
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