Team Jamaica Goes for Business Gold in 2012

Jamaican businesses are mobilising to make significant gains by partnering to develop trade and investment opportunities leading up to the Olympic Games in London, UK in 2012.

Launch of the Meet Jamaica @ London 2012
Llewelyn Bailey (right), Jamaica National Building Society Assistant General Manager, pays keen attention as Karl Samuda (second left), Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce talks business with Ludlow Watts (left), general manager of the Sports Development Foundation; along with Howard Aris, president of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association.

Earl Jarrett, Chairman of the Trade Policy committee in the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and general manager of Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), said that government and private sector companies are being invited to come together to showcase the country’s products and services in the Meet Jamaica @ London 2012 programme, to be promoted from 2011 to the Olympic Games in London, in 2012. He pointed out that JAMPRO and the PSOJ have joined forces to activate the sector.

“Jamaican entrepreneurs will have the unique opportunity to promote Brand Jamaica during the next 18 months,” Jarrett stated. He was speaking at the launch of the programme, at the Courtleigh Auditorium in Kingston (on Wednesday, October 13), before an audience of government ministers, the British high commissioner, private sector leaders and representatives of other interest groups.

“This is our chance to highlight Jamaican music, cuisine, coffee, beer, rums, fashions and manufactured goods, our world class tourism product, as well as highlighting prospects for doing business in the country.

The promotion will include a series of expositions and trade missions in London, which has one of the largest concentrations of members of the Jamaican Diaspora in the world, as well as, in Birmingham, which will host the training camp for the Jamaican Olympic team. The Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) has already signed a contract with the Birmingham City Council for the team to be located at the University of Birmingham, prior to the Olympics in London.

Activities will include a Jamaica theme park in Birmingham, promotions at local and international athletic events such as the IAAF World Athletics Championship in Daegu, South Korea in 2011, and forging closer relationships between institutions such as the University of Birmingham and tertiary institutions in Jamaica.

Joseph Matalon, president of the PSOJ, stated that this initiative will provide national synergies for Jamaican businesses to set a new level of trade and investment with Europe and the rest of the world. Matalon added that the event will, “establish a unified approach to building strategic trade alliances with our UK partners, which will provide long lasting benefits beyond London 2012.”

Companies with strategic interests in the UK and European markets have committed to work with JAMPRO, the PSOJ, the Jamaica Tourist Board, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association, to achieve the objectives of the London 2012 initiative.

The key PSOJ stakeholders include Grace Kennedy, LIME (Cable and Wireless), Red Stripe, Jamaica National Building Society, Jablum, Digicel, J. Wray & Nephew, National Continental Baking Company and Jamaica Producers Limited.

Karl Samuda, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce with responsibility for JAMPRO in his address, affirmed the commitment of his ministry to work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade as well as the Ministry of Tourism to support the business community in the programme.

Sports Minister, Olivia Grange endorsed the promotion in a video message, noting that, “in 2012, Jamaica will also celebrate 50 years of independence. And we intend to paint Kingston, London and the rest of the world in black, green and gold, as we showcase our culture and heritage and invite the world to the Great Jamaican homecoming.”

In his address, Jarrett declared, “to all our business partners and associates…this is your opportunity to join Team Jamaica as we take this country and its goods and services to the rest of the world. London 2012 presents a great nexus between sports, culture, business and our great Jamaican brands.”

The launch event also included a video documentary, which explored the country’s Olympic achievements from London in 1948 through to the Beijing Games, with projections to London 2012. In it JAAA president, Howard Aris, endorsed the national promotion initiative noting that, “all of us at the JAAA are committed to rally behind Brand Jamaica in all its forms, as we invite the rest of the world to meet Jamaica in London.”

About Mark Lee

Editor, author and writer with career spanning print, radio, television and new media.

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