(Jamaica Observer) KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith says Jamaica and eight other countries in the region, have signed an agreement to preserve existing preferential trade terms with the United Kingdom in a Post-Brexit era, backed by UK Trade Minister, George Hollingbery.
In a statement yesterday, Johnson Smith said: “Continuity and certainty are key to our business community and for our government. Given that the United Kingdom is our largest trading partner within the EU, it has been important for the Government of Jamaica, since the Brexit referendum in 2016, to work within CARIFORUM to preserve our existing preferential trade terms notwithstanding uncertainties regarding the Brexit process.”
The signing took place during the 25th Meeting of the CARIFORUM Council of Ministers in Castries, St Lucia, from Thursday.
“The signature of this Agreement safeguards the uninterrupted continuation of trade between our region and the UK, and is consistent with the Government’s vision that trade should be an engine of growth,” said the minister.
She outlined that the CARIFORUM/UK Economic Partnership Agreement would “roll-over” the terms of the CARIFORUM /EU Economic Partnership Agreement and would therefore cover trade in goods, trade in services and trade-related issues such as Intellectual Property Rights.
The ministers are engaged in trade policy discussions as well as preparations for the next phase of ACP / EU Post- Cotonou arrangements.
The countries which signed were: Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Other countries committed to completing their domestic procedures in short order.