JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda, has endorsed this year’s 43rd staging of the biennial Expo Jamaica trade show, slated for April 14 to 17 at the National Arena and National Indoor Sport Centre, in Kingston.
  • “Based on what I saw (at the launch), it is clear that we are on the cutting edge of change, which will better position Jamaica to be globally competitive,” he said.
  • In this regard, she said Jamaica intends to maintain its position as the best Caribbean country for business.

Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda, has endorsed this year’s 43rd staging of the biennial Expo Jamaica trade show, slated for April 14 to 17 at the National Arena and National Indoor Sport Centre, in Kingston.

The four-day event is being jointly staged by the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA), and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), under the theme: ‘The Business Hub of the Caribbean’.

Speaking with JIS News, following Thursday’s (March 10) media launch at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston, Mr. Samuda said based on the quality of products displayed by some of the exhibitors in attendance, “I expect that it will be a very successful expo.”

“I like the expo (concept), because it focuses, primarily, on production for export,” the Minister said.

Noting that Expo Jamaica has evolved significantly over the years and remains a “very relevant” event, Mr. Samuda pointed out that the trade show has become “more sophisticated” with the introduction of technology.

“Based on what I saw (at the launch), it is clear that we are on the cutting edge of change, which will better position Jamaica to be globally competitive,” he said.

Against this background, Mr. Samuda encouraged persons to attend the show and support the exhibitors.

“They must come in and see the greatness of what we, as a country,  can do. They must come in and encourage the manufacturers; buy and promote the products,” the Minister said.

For his part, JMA President, Metry Seaga, in welcoming the opportunity to co-host Expo Jamaica 2016, said the trade show continues to be the “event for all things Jamaican.”

“Expo Jamaica is testament to the tenacity, creativity and innovative spirit of our manufacturers. It is confirmation that manufacturing and the productive sectors are alive and poised to capitalize on the strength of the Jamaican brand, which is second to none in the world. It is a demonstration of our vibrancy as a nation of entrepreneurs,” he added.

Noting that Expo Jamaica has, over the years, been synonymous with stimulating economic growth, Mr. Seaga said its “tremendous multiplier effect,” consequent on the seamless creation of linkages between manufacturing and exports, in particular, and other industries, “must not only be lauded, but must be nurtured.”

“Past expos have significantly enhanced the competitiveness of Jamaican exports in the global environment and, no doubt, this trend will continue,” he added.

In her remarks, newly-elected JEA President, Michelle Chong, welcomed the opportunity to be involved in Expo Jamaica 2016, which she described as a “hallmark event.”

She said the tagline ‘Brand Jamaica – To the World’, which is synonymous with the country’s export regime, is fitting as Jamaican businesses “now, more than ever, are keyed in to the importance of operating globally.”

JAMPRO’s President, Diane Edwards, who endorsement was relayed via audio/visual link, said the agency stands ready to play its part in being a catalyst for business, by connecting local producers with “serious buyers” and facilitating this relationship for the growth of Jamaica’s exports.

Ms. Edwards said JAMPRO is committed to providing market intelligence and market access information to the private sector, pointing out that “partnership matters” for the agency, and encouraged all stakeholders to collectively “build upon the solid platforms we established at Expo Jamaica 2014.”

She noted that  Jamaica is in positive transition,  and  that all macro indicators suggest that “the economy is stabilizing well,” with significant focus being placed on the critical importance of strategically positioning the country within the global value and supply chains.

In this regard, she said Jamaica intends to maintain its position as the best Caribbean country for business.

Some 350 exhibitors have already registered to participate in Expo Jamaica 2016, which is expected to attract 450 local and overseas buyers, and over 15,000 patrons.

New features this year include: the Jamaica Tourist Board’s (JTB) ‘Experience Jamaica’ display; a Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) farmers’ market; a Caribbean Broilers food court; and live streaming of the expo.