Jamaica’s Membership in MEA Warmly Welcomed


Jamaica’s membership in the London-based Middle East Association (MEA) has been warmly welcomed by the Director General, Michael Thomas, who feels that the country has a great deal to offer investors from the Middle East, especially the Gulf States.
In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Thomas said the MEA is keen to link Jamaica with the Gulf countries, which are looking for new opportunities for investing their funds.
“It (Jamaica’s membership) is going to be of great benefit to both of us. Our role is to help our members to obtain business and in your case, you are looking for inward investment. I am quite sure that there are huge opportunities for inward investment in Jamaica. Not many people in the Middle East know very much about Jamaica (as a business destination). But if we can introduce and link up Jamaica, and in particular the Gulf countries, which are looking at ways of investing their funds, I think Jamaica could offer a lot of opportunities,” he said.
Mr. Thomas was attending a reception hosted jointly by Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), United Kingdom (UK) regional office and the Middle East Association, held at the Jamaican High Commission, in London, England on June 30.
He said that in addition to the opportunities in the Middle East, on the UK side, the Association is interested in strengthening its links with Jamaica and would be working closely with the JTI office to promote Jamaica’s key investment sectors.
Mr. Thomas congratulated the JTI UK office for taking the initiative of becoming a member of the MEA. He told the audience that it was a wonderful opportunity as there is a lot to learn about Jamaica and he proposed an outward trade and investment mission to Jamaica.
The JTI’s European Regional Manager, Laurence Jones, gave an overview of the island’s economic development and investment potential. He highlighted the continued growth in tourism, the maritime sector, Information Technology, and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), noting that Jamaica is the largest provider of BPO services in the English speaking Caribbean.
High Commissioner to the UK, Burchell Whiteman, said the country acknowledges the need to regard the global as well as the regional arena as the space within which we have to operate today.
He said that in spite of the global economic downturn, Jamaica has chosen to engage with new partners and in new ways in order to find solutions to common problems, while ensuring that there is fair and equitable development and economic growth.
The MEA is an independent and non-profit association, and is the UK’s premier organisation for promoting trade and good relations with the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Iran.
The Association represents large and small companies, from all business and industry sectors, which together account for an estimated 70 per cent of the UK’s trade with the region. The Patron of the Association is The Duke of York, UK Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.

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