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Jamaica’s Stern: Time for More Intra-Regional Trade

CARICOM must improve intra-regional trade if it is to address the problems stemming from the global downturn, Jamaican Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce Michael Stern said yesterday at the University of the West Indies. “The reality is that we must explore new avenues to grow our economies in full recognition that we are operating in a changed environment,” he said. “Heightened competition and tighter credit restrictions are but two of the imperatives our region must confront, as we seek to kick-start our economies. We must identify new paths to enhance trade and investment within CARICOM and to address the decline in trade and investment with the rest of the world.” According to Stern, the United States’ share of the region’s imports fell from 55 percent in 2000 to 32 percent in 2009. The U.S.’s share of the market for Caribbean goods and services also fell from 61 percent to 42 percent in the same period, he said.

–Jamaica Information Service

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