The Hon. Karl Samuda, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, encouraged Chinese investors to take advantage of the potentially lucrative big business opportunities in Jamaica at the recent Trade and Investment Forum at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Shanghai, which was hosted by JAMPRO against the backdrop of World Expo 2010 Shanghai.
Minister Samuda outline existing investment and trade opportunities across various sectors in Jamaica to Chinese business interests, such as information and communications technology (ICT), light manufacturing, services, tourism, attractions, creative industries (film, music, food, fashion and entertainment) and Blue and High Mountain coffee processing. He noted that Chinese investors have already started to seize the opportunities abounding in Jamaica, citing Complant’s investment of US$9 million in three sugar estates and future interest in establishing a sugar refinery costing another US$180 million.
The Minister also identified Hangzhou Coffee & Western Food Association’s US$3 million expansion and distribution of coffee throughout China, the US$400 million China Harbour facility to improve road infrastructure, investments by Hongfan and Noranda in bauxite and alumina and the establishment of Jamaica as a hub for the manufacture of Chinese goods for distribution to North, Central, South America and Europe. He highlighted the country’s enabling business environment, sophisticated port, highway and telecoms infrastructure, large English-speaking workforce, strategic location and incentives in the form of tax and duty concessions as some of the key factors contributing to the attractiveness of Jamaica as an investment destination.
Chinese business delegates pose questions at the Trade and Investment Forum hosted by JAMPRO at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Shanghai on July 16.
Addressing the state of bi-lateral relations between Jamaica and China, Minister Samuda said that both countries have enjoyed a rich relationship for over a century, which has been strengthened through friendship and mutual respect.
“For a partnership to be lasting and successful each partner must make a meaningful contribution and experience concrete benefits. We are seeking to forge a partnership that will result in material and cultural benefits to our countries. This is just the tip of the ice berg…there is much more to explore as we move forward in a spirit of partnership,” said Minister Samuda.
The Trade and Investment Forum also featured representatives from Jamaican private sector companies, namely Seprod, Central Food Packers, CY Clothing and J&C Coffee Trading, who all benefited from JAMPRO’s facilitation of targeted business interactions with potential Chinese investors and trading partners. In January of this year, JAMPRO, the lead agency coordinating Jamaica’s participation in the World Expo 2010 Shanghai, mobilised members of the local export community around the business opportunities that exist in the Chinese market. JAMPRO-led research determined that coffee, spices, condiments, rums, beers, art and crafts, apparel and coffee were likely to do well in China. Two shipments have already been sent to China with Jamaican products for sale and display in the Brand Jamaica Booth, which is located in the Caribbean Pavilion.
Jamaica’s participation in expo is a cross-ministerial effort involving the Ministries of Industry, Investment and Commerce; Youth, Culture and Sports; Tourism; and Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, among others. As its overarching objective, Jamaica will seek to use the Expo to effectively position itself as the hub of the region for culture, trade and investment.