MICRO, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are being urged to further tap into overseas markets, through export, by taking advantage of the opportunities presented under a number of preferential trade agreements to which Jamaica is a party.
Speaking at a Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) webinar, manager for client relations, marketing and research at the Jamaica Trade Board Sharisa Buckle shared information on the various trade agreements.
The agreements, which include a number of preferential trade arrangements, she said largely provide access for local entrepreneurs to engage in cross-border transactions with a number of countries globally. Some of these, she said, include: the United States under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA)/ Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI); the European Union under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA); CARIFORUM through the UK EPA; Canada under CARIBCAN; as well as some CFaricom agreements which facilitate trade across approximately 13 English-speaking Caribbean countries.
The various agreements, she said however, allow for duty-free trade in keeping with the respective rules of origin (RoO) or qualifying factors.
Referencing the General System of Preference (GSP), Buckle said this agreement also offers many developing countries preferential market access by granting duty concessions on specific products during trade with a number of developed countries, including some from former socialist blocs.
"Jamaica's MSMEs are the backbone of our economy, and I would like to see more participation under these agreements because they are severely underutilised…they are here to boost market access and we want to see our small businesses taking advantage of the benefits," she said.
Source: Jamaica Observer
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