INDUSTRY, Investment and Commerce Minister Anthony Hylton says Government's proposed logistics hub will be vital in the strengthening of Jamaica's economic ties with Brazil.
"Without the logistics hub, we will continue to struggle with a small market (Jamaica), looking at a huge market (Brazil), and not being able to compete effectively," said the minister.
"With the logistics hub, we are talking about a deeper integration of Jamaica into the global economy, and with that, the movement of passengers globally, and the movement of goods globally... we'll have the links between Brazil and Jamaica enhanced by movement of goods, passengers, and data," the minister added.
Hylton was speaking at a special luncheon hosted by Jamaica National Small Business Loans Limited at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Monday, where he explained the opportunities for trade and investment with Brazil.
The minister announced that he would be making an official visit to Brazil to continue discussions on potential partnerships for the logistics hub, stressing that it was critical that these linkages be made, and that Jamaica intends to play its part.
Hylton, in the meantime, cited the critical role that the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector must play in the success of the logistics hub. He urged the gathering of stakeholders to "pay very keen attention" to the MSME policy, and the follow-up actions that will emerge.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Arnaldo Brown, who also addressed the luncheon, said the event reflected some of the important steps that Jamaica has taken in South-South co-operation, and the country's relationship with Brazil. "It was not by accident that Jamaica established a full mission in Brazil," he said.
Brown noted that although the Jamaica-Brazil Chamber of Commerce was established in 2008, it did not receive ratification until a mission was established in the South American country, and the first order of business was to give Government support to the chamber.
"There is much trade that can be derived between the two partners; we have worked very closely on agriculture where there is significant co-operation and best practice that can be derived," he said.
South-South Co-operation involves the exchange of resources, knowledge, and technology between developing countries, also termed countries of the global South.
Brown pointed out that both Brazil and Jamaica were exploring the matter of enhancing travel within the region.