Jamaica possesses the distinct qualities of a vibrant emerging market with enormous possibilities for trade and investment, said Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) Corporate Communication Manager, Mark Thomas.
He noted, however, that the vast opportunities are yet untapped by investors because of the perception of Jamaica as primarily a leisure location.
"From a brand perspective, in terms of how the world looks at Jamaica, they tend to see us in a certain light – leisure, rugged, get-away, fun – which are not attributes that serious business people would equate as a place in which to invest," he explained.
"What we have been doing, tactically, is to reach the investors where they can accommodate us in their own frame. You have to reach the people where they are and (let them know that) Jamaica’s brand is now extremely strong," Mr. Thomas said.
He told JIS News that the staging of the premier business event, Jamaica Investment Forum, now underway at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James, provides a prime opportunity to show the rest of the world that Jamaica is a prime destination for high-end business.
He noted that the high net worth investors in attendance, numbering more than 120, are seeing something “that they could equate with world-class, and a forum which has a global appeal in terms of the staging, arrangements, and quality of facilitation. They would certainly come away with a sense that Jamaicans are professionals."
JAMPRO, which organised the forum, can be confident that it is delivering a top-notch event, having had a lot of experience going into the market and observing branding campaigns, where countries are presenting the best of themselves, and their globally competitive attributes. Some of the countries studieD are South Africa, Taiwan, Australia and Colombia.
And, the work of the investment and promotions agency seems to be achieving the desired results, as indications are that the suite of investment opportunities, presented in a first-class forum, is making an impact on the investors. “Most of the people I’ve spoken to have stated that they are impressed,” Reuters photographer, Gilbert Bellamy, told JIS News.
JAMPRO’s President, Sancia Bennett Templer, addressing a session today, said this is an opportune time to invest in the country.
"This is the year when Jamaica celebrates her 50th Anniversary. The time is now to invest in Jamaica. JAMPRO stands ready to serve you," she stated.
By Donna-Marie Rowe