After four decades of little or not growth, the Jamaican economy is expected to grow at 1-2% over the medium term. The country is confronted by serious social issues that predominantly affect youth, such as high levels of crime and violence and high unemployment.
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The future is digitalWhile pirates don't now sail the seas of the Caribbean, the threat of drugs and firearms is still very real for the region. As the agency responsible for items entering and leavin... Show More +g the country, Jamaica Customs is on the frontline in the fight against contraband.As Major Reese is quick to point out, it's an ongoing challenge balancing border protection and trade facilitation.Digitising the permit and entry forms will expedite processing for the private sector and Customs alike, reducing losses on goods sitting waiting for approval. However, Major Reese was quick to stress that new efficiency measures must not jeopardise officials' capabilities to check for those items which may not be listed on the inventory."When the ship docks, the officers aren't there throughout the entire period," explained Major Reese. "That, in itself, already shows arrangements are currently supportive of cost-reduction to the carriers, but at the same time we have to be mindful of security," he clarified.Harbouring a prodigious talent in its youth, Jamaica is working hard to position itself as the next global digital hub. The removal of duty from phablets is therefore a strategic choice by Customs officials, which has reduced the cost of these devices and opened up the digital spectrum to a wider cross section of Jamaicans. This is a move which is designed to improve access to key sectors such as ICT and education.A regional viewJamaica is not alone in facing Customs challenges.The sea unites the Caribbean as a region and ports are often the first point of call for passengers and cargo alike, and yet logistical inefficiencies and poor port management mean that it can cost less to ship goods across the world than to another port within the sub-region.The Caribbean is home to much potential for fostering economic growth; more efficient Customs procedures is just one step in the journey to making it a reality. Show Less -