JIS News

Deputy President of Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), Lisa Bell, has stressed the importance of members of the Jamaican Diaspora in the United States, playing a more integral role in enhancing and promoting trade and investment linkages between that country and Jamaica.
“You, the members of the Diaspora, are our eyes and ears in this market. You have the information that can influence how we develop products and access investment opportunities. You can help us determine where the focus needs to be, based on demand, and where the limited resources need to be pointed,” Ms. Bell argued.
She was addressing a ‘Serious Business’ symposium, at the fourth Jamaican Business Expo, held at the Sunset Lakes Community Centre, Miramar, Florida, USA, on September 2.
Ms. Bell said that despite Jamaica continuing to grapple with the impact of the global economic downturn, the country remains an attractive destination for investments. To this end, the Deputy President disclosed that she met with several investors out of South Florida, who have expressed an interest in making major investments in Jamaica.
In the case of one of these interests, she pointed out that, “despite the ongoing crisis, this investor clearly recognises the value of the Jamaican brand, and is looking for opportunities to expand his business.”
Areas for investment opportunities, which Ms. Bell highlighted in her presentation, included: Tourism (incorporating attraction, boutique hotels, health, sports and eco-tourism); Information and Communications Technology (encompassing knowledge process outsourcing); Agribusiness (comprising the value added components, such as sauces, extracts and spices); Minerals (limestone); and the Creative Industries, among others.
Prior to her presentation, Ms. Bell and representatives of the Jamaica USA Chamber of Commerce (JAUSACC), which staged the expo, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which is expected to enhance business relationships between both sides. In this vein, she urged members of the Diaspora to play a more interactive role in strengthening the partnership.
“You play a critical role, and for that reason this MoU is very critical. Your enthusiasm and your commitment to Jamaica are deeply appreciated, and now is the time for us to work together. Usain Bolt and the rest of (Jamaica’s) athletes have shown us that we can achieve great things,” Ms. Bell said.
Some 19 local manufacturing and exporting entities, inclusive of small businesses, participated in the expo, staged between September 3 and 4. Their participation was co-ordinated by the JTI, in tandem with the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) and the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA).
Sponsorship for the participation of the small business entities was provided by the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS). This assisted in facilitating the display of a number of local products, which shared space in the Brand Jamaica booth, mounted at the event.
The JTI also initiated the registration of a number of South Florida business-persons, who expressed an interest in participating in the JMA/JEA Expo scheduled for June 17 to 20, 2010, in Kingston.

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