JIS News

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, will lead a delegation to Spain on a four-day visit.
Members of the team, who leave the island tomorrow (July 9), include Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Karl Samuda; Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, and Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI) President, Robert Gregory.
The delegation is slated to participate in the fourth Spain-CARICOM Summit, along with representatives of other Caribbean territories; stage an investment forum with targeted investors in that European country; target prospective investors for the renewable energy, manufacturing and agricultural sectors, as well as seek to strengthen trade relations between Jamaica and Spain.
Speaking at a media briefing at the Ministry in New Kingston, today (July 8), Mr. Samuda said the Summit is scheduled to be held in the Spanish city of Zaragoza, which is also hosting the Expo Zaragoza 2008 World Fair, where Jamaica has a booth. The team will first stop in the Spanish capital, Madrid, for meetings with potential investors to “try and sensitize them to the need to see Jamaica as an attractive business destination,” the Minister said.
“We believe that we are ideally located, we have all the basic ingredients. Jamaica is one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world. We have a beautiful country, beautiful people (who are) highly trainable; we are within (proximity to) the United States; we have the seventh best natural harbour in the world and infrastructure that is advanced.(and) a financial community that is first world,” he noted.
“All that we need is the financial co-operation and assistance from the international investing community to enable us to have access to finances at interest rates that can make it affordable for us to build capacity by expanding infrastructure and creating the kinds of infrastructural development that will make us attractive as an investment destination,” Mr. Samuda added.
In his address, Mr. Gregory said the agency was determined to “set the bar higher,” as they saw the need to earn increasing volumes of investment income for Jamaica.
“In these days of skyrocketing oil prices, global food insecurity, and the toll on the earth’s resources occasioned by depleting water reserves and global warming, there are some clear, emerging imperatives for our agency as we scour the earth for investments,” he said.
Mr. Gregory said that while in Europe, they would seek to promote a number of investment opportunities in the areas of renewable energy, tourism and agriculture among prospective investors. He advised that a JTI team has been at Expo Zaragoza since June, where they have been actively promoting investments and seeking markets for Brand Jamaica products and services.
Additionally, he said, that the agency is currently presenting the products of some 20 companies at the Expo, where they hope to clinch deals with sale distributors before the team concludes its mission in September.
The President also advised that JTI plans to heighten its focus on attracting investments in the areas of tourism, agri-business, mining, manufacturing, energy, information and communication technology (ICT) and the creative industries. He pointed out that investments initiated by the JTI netted some US$850 million in direct foreign investments last year, adding that “we want to eclipse that figure for this fiscal period.”

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