JIS News

A Diaspora Marketplace was opened on Monday, June 17, at the Fifth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, being held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St. James.

The Diaspora Marketplace, a new aspect of the Conference, is aimed at creating a practical space where there can be active business interactions, thus eliminating the notion that the conference is a talk-shop.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson, who opened the marketplace, said he is confident that business connections will be created that will continue long after the conference, which ends on June 19.

Senator Nicholson said it is extremely gratifying that over 50 companies and organizations are participating in the Marketplace, and that 10 Government agencies are collaborating to offer one-stop shop services at the event.

The agencies are the Registrar General’s Department; National Land Agency; Jamaica Customs; Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency; National Insurance Scheme; Administrator General’s Department; National Housing Trust; Trade Board; Companies Office of Jamaica; and Tax Administration Department.

“I am extremely optimistic that this conference will come to represent a turning point in our approach to development, where partnerships and unity are prized and applauded,” Senator Nicholson said.

“I am convinced that we will see transformation, growth and development in Jamaica, as we unleash the collective potential of our public and private sectors and indeed all sectors of civil society,” he added.

Meanwhile, Manager of Corporate Communications at JAMPRO, Mark Thomas, told JIS News that the agency has created a business to business zone through which the organization is working to connect local suppliers with investors from within the Diaspora as well as other investors.

“What we are trying to do is show the many and ranging opportunities that are available to the Diaspora, and hopefully to get pick-up in investments,” he said.

Mr. Thomas argued that the Marketplace will assist in overcoming the knowledge deficit about available opportunities within the country, and that the same opportunities that his organization would showcase for a foreign investor is being showcased for the Diaspora, giving credence to a new term called Diaspora Direct Investments (DDI).

He said that over 600 investment publications have been printed by JAMPRO, which detail a range of sectors, and the major opportunities that are available in the country for investment. These are being distributed to all visiting members of the Diaspora for them to review and consider for investment.

The theme of the conference is: ‘Jamaica – a Nation on a Mission, Jamaica-Diaspora Partnership for Development’.

Contact: Bryan Miller