PNP calls on Gov’t to clear air on CARICOM/Africa Exim Bank agreement Loop Jamaica

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Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Opposition Spokesperson on Industry, Investment and Global Logistics, Anthony Hylton, is urging the Government to break its silence on Jamaica’s non-participation in the historic agreement between CARICOM and the Africa Exim Bank (Afreximbank).

Under the agreement, according to the People’s National Party (PNP) in a recent statement, US$1.5 billion is being made accessible to member states of CARICOM who signed and ratified a partnership agreement with the African Export and Import Bank, at the Africa Caribbean Trade and Invest Forum (ACTIF) 2022, which was held in Barbados in September.

According to Hylton, Jamaica’s representation to what was billed as a high-level ministerial forum, as well as the lack of information from the Government concerning its position on the main outcome of the forum, that is, the partnership agreement with CARICOM member countries, are the immediate causes for concern.

Hylton explained that, “The recent announcement by the Board of the Afreximbank is truly momentous in so far as it demonstrates a renewed and tangible commitment on the part of the member countries to meaningfully engage with CARICOM countries (including Jamaica) to overcome centuries-old impediments to trade and investments between the countries of Africa and CARICOM, considered by the African Union (AU) to be the Sixth Region of Africa, the diaspora.”

Continuing, he said: “For Jamaica not to be fully involved in the process at the highest level, and with a clear position on its participation in this historical development is befuddling to a generation of Pan-Africanists who view the opportunity to trade with and invest in Africa and vice versa as underwriting the long-term future of both Africa and the Caribbean.”

Against that background, Hylton is calling on the Jamaican Government to break what he stated was its “deafening silence” on a very critical development in Africa-CARICOM affairs.

In welcoming the development with the Afreximbank in making available the US$1.5 billion to participating CARICOM members, Hylton is further inquiring as to the role of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in collaborating with the Afreximbank, and in facilitating its successful entrance and operation in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Hylton is also imploring the Jamaican Government to indicate a timeline for Jamaica’s accession to the partnership agreement, or to explain the reason(s) for its apparent reluctance to do so.

The Government has yet to respond to the Opposition’s queries on the development.