Jamaica News, Montego Bay: Six priority sectors and the potential business opportunities they present will be the highlight of the Jamaica Investment Forum (JIF), slated for June 12 to 14 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.
Discussions and presentations will focus on agri-business, business process outsourcing, energy, logistics, manufacturing and tourism, and how these sectors can drive Jamaica’s continued growth and development.
The triennial event, organised by the Government’s trade and investment agency, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), is being held under the auspices of Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who will be the guest speaker at the opening ceremony on June 12.
JAMPRO’s Vice President for Sales and Promotion, Claude Duncan, said JIF presents a unique opportunity for investors and business executives to discover new ventures across the target sectors.
“The sectors were selected based on a combination of internal and external factors…internal having to do with the readiness of (those areas) to receive investments and whether enough opportunities are there (for them) to receive the investments, while the external side examines if there is an appetite out there for these kinds of projects or interest in these sectors,” he explained.
Commenting on each sector, Mr. Duncan noted that Jamaica continues to attract significant interest and attention as a tourist destination, which is evident in the various projects that have recently been completed and others in the pipeline.
He pointed out that tourism continues to be a very vibrant sector for investments, noting that this is evident in the increasing number of hotel rooms, and emerging interest in medical tourism.
“We have (also) made tremendous strides in the logistics area, having divested the Port of Kingston with close to US$1billion invested in port infrastructure such as dredging of the harbour, port expansion and related activities,” he further highlighted.
Other investments in this sector include bunkering projects being executed by the West Indies Petroleum; Kingston Wharves Limited’s thrust in warehousing and logistics; and initiatives by the Government such as the implementation of the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) which has significantly improved the effectiveness and efficiency of operations within the customs and port communities.
Additionally, Mr. Duncan said there is the opportunity to attract logistics players and manufacturers to occupy the special economic zones.
The JAMPRO executive further pointed out that “with the improved logistics at the ports, it puts us in a better position to attract some manufacturing-type investments, whether (from investors targeting the) domestic market or those interested in serving bigger markets such as CARICOM, and other regions.”
Mr. Duncan said business process outsourcing has evolved into a robust sector that continues to drive growth and job creation, noting that sector now employs about 26,000 persons.
On the matter of energy, he informed that the Government is currently developing an integrated resource plan from which a slew of investment projects will be created in renewables.
“Agriculture is said to be one of the pillars for growth, going forward, as it is good for business and the country. So we will be shining the spotlight on this sector as agri-business covers, not just agriculture, but the entire value chain including distribution, manufacturing, and retail,” Mr. Duncan added.
The forum, being held under the theme ‘Connect for Business!’, will facilitate various plenaries, panel discussions and breakout sessions highlighting the six sectors.
The topics include: ‘Outsourcing’; ‘Logistics and Special Economic Zones: the Jamaican Advantage’; ‘Energy: Towards a Sustainable Energy Hub’; ‘Manufacturing: Jamaica- the Key Link in the Global Supply Chain’; ‘Agri-business: Growing from the Ground Up’; and ‘Tourism: from All-inclusives to Eco-exclusives’.
Jamaica’s advancements in technology, economic growth strategy and growing business potential will also be explored by the panelists, while investors in attendance will get the opportunity to speak with persons who have already invested in Jamaica, as well as view testimonials from others.
The Jamaica Investment Forum is being held with support from a wide cross section of sponsors. They include:
- Headline sponsors: JAMPRO; Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth Project (FCGP), a project of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ); New Fortress Energy; and Scotiabank;
- Platinum sponsors: Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF); Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL); and Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ);
- Gold sponsors: Port Authority of Jamaica; Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); Urban Development Corporation (UDC); GK Capital Management Limited; Heart Trust/NTA; Cable and Wireless Business; Main Event Entertainment Group Limited; PwC Jamaica; Montego Bay Convention Centre; J. Wray and Nephew Limited; and Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA).
Source: JIS News