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The Government’s investment promotion agency, Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), will lead a delegation of representatives from 19 local companies, to participate in the 2009 Jamaican Business Expo at the Sunset Lakes Community Centre in Mirarmar, South Florida in the United States of America (USA), from September 3 to 4.
The expo is organised by the Jamaica/USA Chamber of Commerce (JUSACC), a Florida-based Diaspora organisation comprising approximately 420 members. It will be held under the theme: ‘Buy Jamaican – Brand We Love’.
Participation in the expo forms part of the JTI’s efforts to boost the promotion of trade and investment opportunities and prospects between Jamaican business interests and their counterparts in the burgeoning South Florida Diaspora.
In tandem with the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) and the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA), the JTI will be showcasing a wide range of product categories in the Brand Jamaica booth.
Local manufacturers and exporters, whose products will be displayed, include: Trout Hall Limited, which will showcase its ugli fresh fruit juice; Easi-Spice – spices and seasonings; First World Imports, which produces the Caribbean Sunshine line of canned fruits, vegetables and juices; Electric Arc (Jamaica) Limited – ELARC electrodes; Lasco; Seprod, Tetley Jamaica Limited; Cooyah; and Central Food Packers.
Additionally, products from JMA members Mackchem Chemicals; Parfums Jamaica; West Best Foods; Hak Has Limited; Crimson Dawn; Cultural Arts, and designs from interests in the local fashion industry, will also be on display.
The JTI’s efforts at facilitating business relationships and promoting investment opportunities will be boosted by a business information and meeting booth within the display area, which will facilitate meetings and enquiries from attendees, including members of the Diaspora.
Deputy President of JTI, Lisa Bell, is scheduled to make a presentation during an investment symposium at the opening of the expo on September 3.
Export Promotion Manager at JTI, Berletta Forrester, has described the expo as an important vehicle for exposing Jamaican products to consumers and companies in the South Florida distributive trade.
“This event is both a market penetration opportunity and a vehicle for facilitating business interactions with the Jamaica Diaspora. The United States remains Jamaica’s main trading partner, accounting for more than 40 per cent of total exports,” she said.
She noted that while many Jamaican products are available in retail outlets such as Wal-Mart, there is significant growth room for exports of non-traditional products and services to the South Florida market. “An event such as the Jamaican Business Expo will attract consumers who will, in turn, drive demand for the products,” she stated.
The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has thrown its weight behind the mission to South Florida, by providing $200,000 to facilitate the small business stakeholders’ participation.
“JPS is pleased to be associated with this event and we are happy that we are able to support the promotion of Jamaican products, particularly those from our small businesses,” said Economic Development Manger, Heather Rowe.
The United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey puts the total number of persons of Jamaican ancestry living in South Florida, particularly in the Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach metropolitan areas, at upwards of 156,105. This represents approximately a third of the estimated 471,422 persons of Caribbean ancestry, excluding Hispanics, who reside in that region.

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