With the Government pursuing increased investment as a key driver of economic growth, the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association’s (JMA) inaugural staging of the Jamaica International Exhibition (JIE) is expected to have a significant impact.
The three-day event kicks off at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on June 1 and should see the participation of some 600 local, regional and international suppliers and buyers.
The JIE, to be hosted biennially, targets investment in the manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and business processing sectors, among others. The exhibition is expected to be a success in offering local business people an opportunity to interact with some of the largest and most important traders worldwide.
Executive Director of the JMA, Imega Breese McNab, addressing a meeting with members of the diplomatic corps at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on February 7, said the multi-sectoral event is the JMA’s contribution to expanding investment and export and to further integrate Jamaican trade into the global supply chain.
“We have over 800 manufacturers in Jamaica and we all import equipment and a lot of our input internationally. So if it is that you want to penetrate the Jamaican market and supply our manufacturers, our tourism sector, our agricultural sector, this is actually the show to be at to display the product offerings from your respective countries,” she told the diplomats.
The JMA is collaborating with the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) for the recruitment of buyers to the event, as well as with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.
Ms. Breese McNab said the JIE will provide opportunities for participants to meet regional and international exhibitors and buyers, connect with suppliers, retailers and distributors, form new business contacts and linkages, as well as to network, create investment opportunities and capitalise on business-to-business meetings.
She explained that booth space can be accessed for US$1,500, while tabletop options are available for US$750.
Ms. Breese McNab said that the second city of Montego Bay was selected to host as the area provides for the mixing of tourism with business. She pointed out that the venue is close to top-class hotels and spectacular beaches, as well as the cruise terminal and duty-free shopping locations.
The JMA has partnered with hotels such as the Hilton Rose Hall, Iberostar Rose Hall and the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall in providing room space for participants.
Portfolio Minister for Industry and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, addressing the press launch of the JIE last month, said it is timely and necessary and will serve to reaffirm the benefits of trade in the Jamaican economy.
He said the event also serves to emphasise the country’s commitment to expanding its share in the global marketplace, while creating job opportunities and empowering local businesses.
JMA President, Metry Seaga, meanwhile, predicted that the JIE will eclipse any other trade expo on the national calendar of events in size, prestige and outreach.
Noting that he expects event will be the “biggest ever to be held in the region”, he said the JMA is proud to be hosting an event “with so much international flavour” and one that will give local participants a chance of getting their products into the global marketplace, giving brand Jamaica a further boost.