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Foreign Affairs minister calls for strengthened partnership with Europe

Friday, October 20, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith has called for strengthened partnership with the EU and engagement of private sector investors by EU Member States to facilitate increased trade and investment with Jamaica and the wider ACP group of countries.

The minister was delivering remarks at the ACP-EU high-level roundtable, under the theme, “Putting Partnership into Practice: Making the best of the toolbox (EPA and EU development support) to help ACP attract investment, connect to value chains and industrialise”, according to a release from the ministry.

The roundtable was held in Brussels today and included ACP trade ministers, representatives of the European Commission, and EU private sector representatives.

Johnson Smith joined a distinguished panel of speakers, including: Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for Trade; Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development; the Trade and Consumption Minister of Madagascar, and a senior representative of the European Investment Bank (EIB), who also presented on how the EPA can support increased investment in ACP countries.

The Jamaican minister emphasised that foreign direct investment was critical to the island's growth and could facilitate the country's full participation in regional and global value chains. She also emphasized the importance of Jamaica's services exports to the EU, including cultural and entertainment services and urged the EU to facilitate services exports, through a special visa arrangement for CARIFORUM services suppliers.

Johnson Smith indicated that the CARIFORUM-EU EPA provides a good framework for greater EU investment in Jamaica and the expansion of Jamaica's services exports to the Union. In that regard, she also called for the establishment of a bi-regional Chamber of Commerce to help drive trade and investments on both sides.

Johnson Smith returns to Jamaica this weekend.

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