Author: Press Statement | Date: 06 April 2011
Following the recent inward trade and investment mission from Canada, which featured high profile investors and business persons with a strong interest in the opportunities that exist in the country, JAMPRO - the national trade and investment promotion agency - is exuding optimism that the outcome will ultimately yield positive results for the local economy.
"This recent inward mission was the second facilitated by JAMPRO and it brought together four groups of investors with diverse interests across the energy, manufacturing and minerals sectors. Based on the efforts made, we are confident that investment and job creation will result in the not too distant future," stated Robert Kerr, Regional Manager of JAMPRO's North American Regional Office in Toronto, Canada.
Kerr explained that the North American Regional Office, which was re-opened last year, has placed significant priority on having an active calendar of missions that will allow potential investors and importers to get a firsthand appreciation of Jamaica's investment opportunities and export products. He noted that this would enable them to make firm business decisions, and added that his office was currently planning several inward missions that will originate from both Canada and the United States from March 2011 onwards.
Speaking specifically to increasing the export of Jamaican products to the Canadian market, Kerr pointed out that given the strong economic growth prospects for Canada in comparison to other developed countries, the market is ripe with opportunities for local firms.
"During 2010, we observed chart-topping growth for several of our top Jamaican brands in Canada and we are committed to working closely with our partners and stakeholders in extracting maximum value for Jamaica and for Jamaican exporters," he stated.
George Ramocan, Jamaica's Consul General to Toronto who also took part in the recent inward mission, expressed similar confidence in the prospects emanating from Canada.
"Canada has probably been the best performing country in an economic sense during the recession, and now is a very opportune time for Jamaica to establish stronger business ties with Canada. A very great area of opportunity lies within the largely affluent Jamaican-Canadian community, which stands at well over 300,000. There are many persons in this group who are encouraged by the positive developments and are inclined to return to invest of do business in Jamaica," he stated.
Ramocan disclosed that planning was already well underway as it relates to activities for the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's independence in 2012, which will feature a major homecoming and a programme geared towards stimulating Canadian interest in investment and trade with Jamaica. He indicated that the consulate would continue to work closely with JAMRPO and the relevant ministries to engage the overall Canadian business community.
"What is coming out in a very strong way is that people are recognising the value of the Jamaican brand and are trying to make use of that opportunity. I believe, therefore, that there is a kind of momentum at work and it augurs well. I think that the future holds very good prospects for growth in investments from Canada and increased trade in Brand Jamaica goods," said Ramocan.