Jamaica News: Prime Minister Andrew Holness has reiterated that Jamaica will continue its relationship with the CARICOM.
Prime Minister Holness gave the assurance yesterday (June 19) while opening the Parliamentary Debate on the report of the Commission to Review Jamaica’s Relations within the CARICOM and CARIFORUM Frameworks.
“The commissioning of the review was never driven by any pre-conceived notion that Jamaica should sever its membership of CARICOM or other regional arrangements. Our ultimate goal, which I believe we have accomplished, was to undertake a long overdue forensic analysis of CARICOM’s structure, procedures and practices with a view to maximizing the benefits accrued at the national and regional levels”, said Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister stated that the report, produced by the Commission led by Chairman, former Prime Minister Bruce Golding, is focused and informative and will become an integral part of the resources available to the region.
“We can all agree that the report is timely and that it represents a significant milestone in the on-going dialogue across the region on whether the integration movement is indeed serving the interest of our nationals and Member States”, explained the Prime Minister.
The report of the Commission was tabled in Parliament on February 6, 2018, by Prime Minister Holness. It contains thirty-three (33) key recommendations. The Prime Minister said some of the recommendations that have the greatest potential for implementation in the short to medium term include performance management, financial management, development financing, institutional framework and economic relations.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness said that while Jamaica agrees that negotiating through CARIFORUM would offer greater leverage and would facilitate a stronger negotiating position, it would be imperative that CARICOM’s relationship with CARIFORUM be realigned if it is to gain any tangible benefits from this option.
In this regard, the Prime Minister noted that the Government is in the process of reviewing and repealing the Customs Act in order to better fulfil the country’s obligations under the World Trade Organisation Trade Facilitation Agreement.
The CARICOM Commission’s mandate was to review the effectiveness of existing arrangements within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), as well as to explore the strengthening of strategic partnerships within the CARICOM and CARIFORUM Frameworks.
The Prime Minister noted that since the report was made public there have been several meaningful reactions to its contents and recommendations from a wide cross-section of interested parties within and beyond Jamaica’s borders.
Source: JIS News