Jamaica News: The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is reporting that the recently held Jamaica Investment Forum (JIF) was a success and has created opportunities for sound investment projects.
The forum, held from June 12 to 14 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, focused on six priority sectors – agri-business, business process outsourcing (BPO), energy, logistics, manufacturing and tourism.
Addressing a JIS Think Tank on Tuesday (June 26), Manager for Sales and Promotions at JAMPRO, Ricardo Durrant, said that the forum sparked great interest among potential investors, with good leads and the potential for major projects.
“Over 400 persons attended the forum, of which some 200 were in the investor category, and these investors held over 100 meetings over the two days with key sector leaders and government ministers who attended,” he informed.
Mr. Durrant said that the main sectors of interest are logistics, energy and tourism, and “we are also seeing interest in cybersecurity, which is a direct result of the work that we have been doing in the BPO sector and our information technology infrastructure”.
He pointed out that a cybersecurity hub will enhance the country’s capabilities in banking, BPO, and other data-sensitive industries.
The investors at JIF came from 18 countries across the globe, including Japan, Singapore, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, United States of America and the Caribbean.
Mr. Durrant noted that more than 80 per cent of the investment interests have top-level positions in their companies, such as presidents, vice presidents and chief executive officers.
“These are key decision-makers, and when they meet with other decision-makers, it makes them comfortable, as they have discussions and meetings and are able to move their projects along,” he pointed out.
Mr. Durrant said that with the strong leads and deep interest, the next level is to work with the potential investors “to ensure that these investments are landed properly and effectively”.
“We estimate that combined, these investors are managing funds of over US$100 billion, and if we can get those projects landed in Jamaica, you can see the effect it will have on our gross domestic product (GDP) growth, our employment and all the things that we want to achieve in Jamaica,” he said.
On her part, President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards, told JIS News that the forum achieved its main objectives of connecting with new investors to attract more interest from the global investor scene, progressing existing investment interests, and attracting international media.
“So, on all those fronts, we have succeeded as we have actually brought on board new investors; we have connected with existing investors right across the board, and particularly in the six sectors that we targeted; and had some 15 international media houses attending,” Miss Edwards said.
She noted, too, that several persons remained after JIF to deepen conversations and investigation of Jamaica.
“A conference is really just the start of a relationship, as investment happens between people who are in a relationship and who are in a relationship with a country that they want to invest in.
“So JIF opens doors for us, sets a stage for us, provides a platform for us and now, the next step for JAMPRO is to follow up on those investment interests that we have stimulated and awakened. It is for us to hold the hand of these investors and take them through the next steps in their progression of investment,” Miss Edwards said.
The staging of JIF in 2012 and 2015 were huge successes for JAMPRO, attracting some US$300 million in investment and generating some 7,000 jobs.
Source: JIS News