The Government is looking to leverage Jamaica’s participation in EXPO2020 Dubai to attract investments from business interests in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), among other countries.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, who heads Jamaica’s delegation attending the global event, said that “shovel-ready” projects are available at the country’s pavilion, which features displays capturing the country’s rich culture and heritage.
“We have lots of investment opportunities. We have opportunities in the creative industries, in infrastructure, in logistics, and in tourism at all levels. Through EXPO2020 Dubai, Jamaica is hoping to not only deepen our friendship and partnership with the UAE but we’re planning to bring Jamaica to the world and invite the world to Jamaica,” she noted.
Senator Johnson Smith was speaking during a media interview at the Expo on Wednesday (February 16).
She said that while Jamaica is globally renowned for its exploits in sports and music, the island is also ranked as the sixth easiest country with which to do business.
She further noted that Jamaica has the seventh largest natural harbour in the world, and the island’s connection by air to North and South America, and shipping routes across the globe, makes it ideal for logistics services.
Against this background, the Minister underscored that “it is extremely important for Jamaica to be here at EXPO2020 Dubai”.
“We want the world to see that we are a small country, but we are [also] a huge country – meaning, we are big of heart. We punch above our weight in sports, in music, in culture, and in business,” she noted.
Meanwhile, Senator Johnson Smith said the Government is “extremely excited” about the partnership between the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) and the World Free Zone Organization, based in Dubai.
She noted that among the outcomes from this collaboration is Jamaica’s hosting of the eight Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE) in Montego Bay in June 2022, under the theme ‘Zones 2022: Your Partner for Resilience’.
“So, we’re inviting the world, non-governmental organisations, multilateral organisations, the drivers of business, our policymakers…who will work together to promote economic activity for recovery, using and leveraging all of the potential that sits in free zones and special economic zones,” the Minister added.
Jamaica was invited to participate in EXPO2020 Dubai, from February 16 to 20, by the UAE as part of that country’s outreach to encourage Caribbean nations to engage in one of the most globally diverse events ever organised.
The six-month-long Expo, which opened in October 2021, aims to provide opportunities for building partnerships, enhancing South-South cooperation, and creating a legacy of knowledge and co-creation.
Among the highlights of Jamaica’s participation in the Expo are activities marking ‘Jamaica Day’ on Friday, February 18.