PSOJ to strengthen regional advocacy
BREESE MCNAB...We currently have a very close relationship with the CPSO and we are actually now looking at onboarding to become a member of that body as we do believe that regional integration is important (Photo: Karl Mclarty)

With more issues in need of regional collaboration coming to the fore, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) is seeking to work more closely with its Caribbean partners to build consensus and craft out solutions on a number of these issues.

Executive director of the PSOJ Imega Breese McNab, speaking at a recent Jamaica Observer Business Forum, said that the entity in strengthening this effort is now moving to become a full member of the larger Caricom Private Sector Organisation (CPSO).

The CPSO incorporated in 2020 was formed to mobilise and advance private sector participation in Caricom and is also mandated with overseeing the full implementation of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The establishment of the CPSO emanated out of numerous calls for the region to have that single, unified voice tasked with representing the collective interest of individual states replacing what was said to have been a more national and corporate self-interest that existed prior.

“We currently have a very close relationship with the CPSO and we are actually now looking at onboarding to become a member of that body as we do believe that regional integration is important,” Breese McNab shared with the Caribbean Business Report.

“We believe that Caricom is a good market for us as private sector companies, we see a lot of businesses doing joint ventures, expanding and exporting to the region as well as doing mergers, so it is an area that we have to be very aware of what is happening, so we will in short order be onboarding as a member of the CPSO,” she said.

Highlighting the areas of regional integration, food security and region’s food import bill and intra-regional movement, the PSOJ said it will be taking greater steps to ramp up its advocacy in a number of other areas of concern for the region.

“There are a number of other issues that will be going to the heads pretty soon such as the front of package labelling (FOPL) as well as the matter of the global minimum tax — which is a current issue, that we will have to look at as a region. There are other issues as it relates to the movement of labour — so we have to be integral in the discussions,” Breese McNab stated.

Though not yet officially a member of the regional body, Breese McNab said the local arm is currently well represented by stalwart past presidents PB Scott and William Mahfood — both of whom sit on the current executive team in the roles of vice-chairman and executive committee member, respectively.

“So we do have members that sit at the highest level of the CPSO and if there are matters that the PSOJ sees as important, we usually send a representative to the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) meetings to ensure that our views are represented,” the executive director said.

The CPSO was formed in 2020 to mobilise and advance private sector participation in Caricom.
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BY KELLARAY MILES Business reporter milesk@jamaicaobserver.com

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