JIS News

A 14-member Trade Mission from the United Kingdom (UK), spearheaded by the Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI) European Office, will arrive in Jamaica next Monday, November 16.
More than 10 companies will be represented on the week-long mission. The companies represent a number of industries ranging from food to real estate and manufacturing.
Among the companies signed up to be part of the trade mission is DEES Caribbean Imports, which imports and distributes a range of Jamaican food products. Head of Caribbean Imports, Mr. Alexander Junior Douglas, told JIS News that his goal is to meet face-to-face with his suppliers and increase the business he does with Jamaica.
“It is about getting more business, a lot more business. 2009 was rough economically and financially; 2010 is not looking too bright and the only way to get out of it is to trade, so we are looking to get more business,” he said.
According to Mr. Douglas, while there was a growing demand for Jamaican and Caribbean products in the UK, there was a demand for different kinds of products and different packaging for traditional products. He said the demand was for the traditional export products to be packaged for convenience.
“There is a growing demand for Caribbean products in the UK, but there is also a demand for different products. The old yam and bananas are finished and there is need for new ideas for these products. The whole packaging and marketing approach has to change from what it was 10, 15 or 20 years ago. The consumers want more convenience in everything,” Mr. Douglas said.
For Ms. Diana Blair, owner of Three Diamonds Limited, the goal is about taking fine wines and champagne to Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean. This, she said, could involve taking wines directly to Jamaica for bottling.
“I am interested in supplying Jamaica with wines and champagne as well as importing and exporting foods. One of the possibilities that my company is looking at is to have wines sent directly to Jamaica from the vineyards, to be bottled for distribution in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean,” she said.
The Jamaica Enterprise Network in the UK (JENUK), which is a loose network of some 250 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), operated mainly by persons of Jamaican heritage, will also be represented on the Trade Mission.
Founding member of JENUK, Mr. Dennis St. Bernard, said the aim was for JENUK to assist UK companies in taking advantage of the opportunities that are available in Jamaica and to also help facilitate Jamaicans wishing to invest in the UK.
The European Regional Manager for the JTI, Mr. Laurence Jones, said the Trade Mission was very important, as part of the JTI’s mandate was to generate increased exports from Jamaica and seek to attract more foreign direct investments into the island.

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