KINGSTON, Jamaica, September 20, 2019 (CMC) – The governments of Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China signed a protocol, yesterday, governing the export of frozen lobster from the island to the Chinese market.
The agreement outlines the sanitary and hygienic conditions necessary to facilitate such export and the responsibilities of the local competent authority/veterinary services division, in coordination with the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC).
Agriculture Minister, Audley Shaw, in his remarks at the signing ceremony, said that the agreement is “a big step in the right direction, because it further expands the market for the export of frozen lobsters into China”.
He urged potential exporters and other stakeholders to comply with the requirements.
Shaw said the new agreement expands on the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the countries on September 22, 2017, for the export of other fisheries products into China.
“Under that agreement, our two countries agreed to cooperate regarding the promotion of the export of [live] spiny lobster and queen conch in the first instance, and, thereafter, other fishery products from Jamaica to China, with a view to expeditiously establish an effective and mutually-beneficial trade relationship,” he noted.
Shaw said that since that MOU signing, a protocol for the export of live lobster was developed and ratified by both countries, and there has been steady export of live, spiny lobster from Jamaica to China.
“In 2018, over 23,700 kilograms of live spiny lobster were exported to China. The expectation is that over 28,000 kgs of live lobster will be exported in 2019,” he added.
China’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Tian Qi, who signed on behalf of his government, said that the protocol for the export of frozen lobster is indicative of the countries’ longstanding cooperation and friendship.
He noted that last year, trade between the two countries reached US$600 million, adding that Jamaica’s export to China doubled.
“Jamaica is the largest trade partner of China in the whole Caribbean, and total investment from China to Jamaica reached to $2 billion and created more than 20,000 job opportunities to the local society,” he added.
He said with the signing of the protocol, trade between the two countries will continue to increase.