Jamaica leads trade discussions at 8th Caricom-Cuba Summit
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica is encouraging exporters within the Caribbean Community (Caricom), to benefit from reduced tariffs on their exports to Cuba, as the list of goods allowed into that market has been expanded.

These goods include, fresh and frozen fish products, fresh and processed fruits, fruit juices and concentrates, alcoholic beverages, cement, industrial soaps, and certain apparels.

Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, who led the discussions on trade on behalf of Caricom made the statement at the eighth Caricom-Cuba Summit held in Barbados on Tuesday, December 6.

Her pronouncement follows as the region and Cuba seek to further enhance bilateral trade and improved trade performance under the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement (TECA).

According to Foreign Minister, “The TECA has allowed for the strengthening of economic and commercial relations through the liberalisation of trade in goods; elimination of non-tariff barriers to trade and the establishment of financial and other arrangements to facilitate the progressive expansion of two-way trade.”

She however, urged, “for more to be done in relation to trade between Caricom and Cuba, which she says, can be facilitated through greater private sector collaboration amongst the trading partners.”

Johnson Smith further underscored that in the past five years, there has been a noticeable decline in trade between Caricom and Cuba, especially in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noting that Cuba and some Caricom countries have already completed the required action to give legal effect to the Second Protocol of the TECA, the Minister called for timely action by the Community to complete the necessary legal procedures, which she emphasized is critical if countries are to harness the maximum potential of Caricom-Cuba bilateral trade.

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