JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The event will showcase the many provisions that exist locally.
  • In just two years, local suppliers have earned in excess of $200 million from exposing their trade at the event.
  • A new feature has been added to the expo this year, as on October 1 there will be the ‘Great Jamaican Cook Off’.

Suppliers in the service and business sectors will show their offerings to local, regional and international buyers at the 2013 JAMPRO two-day Opportunities Jamaica Business Link, slated for the Montego Bay Convention Centre from September 30 to October 1.

In an interview with JIS News, Manager for the Export Division at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Marlene Porter, outlined that the event will showcase the many provisions that exist locally, and also facilitate ‘win-win’ business connections for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), so that buyers will continue to sustain the Jamaican economy.

“We bring in local suppliers of goods and services, and create the opportunities for them to meet with buyers. This time around it is not just with local buyers, as regional buyers have been added to the list of buyers. The primary objective of the event is to highlight and promote opportunities for local business entities,” she pointed out.

“What we are trying to do is to stimulate greater usage of local products. An event of this kind not only contributes to higher levels of earning for the participating companies, but impact broadly on the socio-economic side of things, because we will see less pressure on the foreign exchange, and also the potential for greater employment to be created from such an activity,” Miss Porter added.

She noted that in just two years, local suppliers have earned in excess of $200 million from exposing their trade at the event. “Over the last two years we have staged the event in collaboration with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, as well as the Jamaica Tourist Board, and we have had tremendous success. We saw over $200 million in contracts realized, and this is not the full extent of it. This is what we have been able to collect from participants at the event,” she said.

A new feature has been added to the expo this year, as on October 1 there will be the ‘Great Jamaican Cook Off’, with participation from the Culinary Federation of Jamaica (CFJ).

“We have included the sectors that the buyers have expressed an interest in, so food will play a big part there.  We have furniture and bedding, we are looking at fashion, gifts and craft, chemicals and spa products. In the list of companies participating this year, we have more service companies. It is a good cross-section of sectors that will be represented at the event. We want to say to all Jamaican businesses, please come out and buy,” the Manager said.

Speakers at the opening ceremony will include State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams; new President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards, and Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, Pamela Coke-Hamilton.