Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Monday | July 6, 2009
Home : Letters
A call to arms
The Editor, Sir:

The Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) is an integrated development strategy intended to benefit the people of the region by providing more and better opportunities for trade among member states. It is also about integrated investment and about the freer movement of the Caribbean people within the region. It also speaks to a Caribbean citizenship co-existing with citizenship of the individual member states.

Absurd bureaucracy

Never was it intended to be a means by which countries seek to exercise their perceived ability to outsmart others by way of ridiculous and absurd bureaucratic procedures aimed at frustrating other member states who attempt to carry out inter-regional trade.

Of all member states, Jamaica seems to be one of the most co-operative and inclusive when it comes to barriers to trade and entry. In recent times, however, we have seen where member states, Trinidad and Tobago in particular, have adopted most dishonourable means of unfair competition, with no sanction whatsoever taken against it.

Jamaica, despite having one of the lowest per capita incomes in the region, also possesses the largest purchasing power and this can be most advantageous to us.

Import barriers

While it would not be intelligent to impose import barriers and excessive duties, we can simply opt to refrain from purchasing as individuals any and all commodities be it raw material or finished products that originated in any such country that has clear tactics in an effort to gain trade advantage.

I, therefore, make this appeal to all Jamaicans to consider first when making purchases in supermarkets, shops or on the corner the point of origination of such a product and the trade relationship with Jamaica. We must understand that the CSME represents the very price of survival in today's world.



Portmore, St Catherine

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