KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 10, 2008 -
Jamaica's Prime Minister is urging Caribbean companies to get busy now in order to take advantage of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which the region will officially sign in June.
Bruce Golding told members of the press at CARICOM's 19th Inter-Sessional meeting in the Bahamas that businesses across the region must come together in joint ventures if they want to benefit from the new trade deal.
Noting that the EPA will provide a challenge for the region, he cautioned that trying to go it alone would not allow them to penetrate the European markets or achieve the levels of efficiency to dominate those markets.
The Jamaican leader said CARICOM countries should use the opportunity to seek out and invite investors from across the world.
"This is a great opportunity to attract foreign investment but the foreign investments won't arrive in the region. We have to go into the investment markets. It is a commodity and it has to be marketed," Mr Golding said.
"If we sit around and wait on EPA to transform our lives, it will never happen. We need to get busy," he added.
He said if businesses across the region could penetrate even a small part of the European market of 450 million people, thousands of jobs could be created for Caribbean citizens.