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JIS News

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, has said that the Government will be opening more Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) offices overseas.
Speaking with JIS News, the Minister said that the JAMPRO office located at the Jamaican Consulate General in Toronto, had performed extremely well since re-opening earlier this year, and “it has offered us an opportunity to achieve a level of exposure and new business that we never had before”.
The results have been so encouraging, said the Minister, who was in Canada following a visit to the Shanghai Expo in China, that “we are going to be looking at our budget provisions to see to what extent we can have a direct JAMPRO presence in other major cities around the world, not only dealing in investment possibilities, but also in trade, and working in close collaboration with our embassies.”
In the meantime, the Minister said he is hoping to appoint an Honorary Trade Consul in Vancouver, Western Canada, to “aggressively” market and promote Jamaican products in that region.
“If we are going to be serious about promoting exports and investments, we have to look at all of Canada and be active from Victoria Island [in the West] to Prince Edward Island [in the East],” said the Minister, noting that there is a market for Jamaican niche products in Canada.
He noted that one of those niche items was hot pepper sauce made from Scotch Bonnet peppers.
“There is no pepper that is as desired as the Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Pepper. Everywhere I go, what I hear is a total endorsement of our flavours. For some reason whatever we grow in Jamaica has a different flavour. We have by virtue of the type of soil and climate, an advantage over almost any country in the world to produce the highest quality, and items with the most acceptable flavours and we must exploit that to the fullest,” Mr. Samuda said.
The Minister pointed out that it was for this reason that the development and expansion of the Agro Industrial sector had been chosen by the Government as one of the areas of concentration, and Jamaica’s future depended on its ability to produce for export.
“We have a foreign exchange shortage and despite the fact that tourism earns a lot of foreign exchange, when you can produce with raw materials indigenous to Jamaica, convert it to a finished product and export it, you get the best value added. which assists our economy to grow in the most significant way,” he said.
While in Canada, Minister Samuda held discussions with several business persons in Vancouver, British Columbia, and at the Jamaican Consulate General in Toronto.