Support for local agricultural and agro-processed exports has become effective with the launch today in Kingston of the EU funded European Partnership Agreement (EPA) Capacity Building Project.
The inking of the final agreements between the government of Jamaica and the EU signalled the commencement of the programme which is supported by € 2,250,000 or some $ 264 million JMD of EU funds. In line with the objectives of the European Partnership Agreement (EPA), the programme will contribute to facilitating increased and more diversified exports of agricultural and agro-processed products from Jamaica to the EU and other markets. The project aims to create an enabling institutional environment to support increased compliance of agriculture and agribusiness exports with international quality standards.
Speaking at this morning's launch, held at the Bureau of Standards Winchester Road offices, EU Head of Delegation, Ambassador Paola Amadei established a clear link between EPA and globalisation. "Globalisation necessarily implies reforms linked to good governance, regional integration, and business environment" she said, before highlighting the objective of the EPA: "The purpose of the Economic Partnership Agreement goes beyond a simple trade agreement. It ultimately seeks to increase competitiveness and business environment, thereby attracting investments, creating business opportunities and employment in Jamaica and CARIFORUM."
The signature of the Financing Agreement at the presence of Minister of Finance and Planning the Hon. Dr Peter Phillips, Minister of Agriculture the Hon. Roger Clarke, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce the Hon. Anthony Hilton, and EU Heads of Mission resident in Kingston, marked the official start of the project, with funds immediately available to the beneficiaries.