Big potential trade boost for Jamaica

Business

Big potential trade boost for Jamaica

100-plus US companies from varied industries have already signalled their participation in AMCHAM Jamaica virtual trade mission

BY DURRANT PATE
Observer business writer

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

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Jamaica is expected to benefit from increased trade with its biggest trading partner, the United States of America, in the coming weeks from a virtual trade mission, which is being organised by the Jamaican arm of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM).

AMCHAM is partnering with the US Department of Commerce Commercial Service and the US Embassy in Jamaica to host the virtual trade mission on December 1. The trade mission will allow Jamaican companies to directly engage with their US counterparts while exploring potential business opportunities.

Participants will also be able to make industry contacts, network with buyers, suppliers and service providers as well as being able to gain market insights. Speaking with the Business Observer, AMCHAM Jamaica President Ann-Dawn Young Sang said the virtual trade mission, the first of its kind in Jamaica, will be creating tangible opportunities for Jamaican businesses.

AMERICAN BUSINESSES PARTICIPATING

The businesses participating are drawn from a variety of industries such as finance, energy, tourism, aviation, food and beverage, solar power, information technology and construction. The cost for attendance is US$100 for AMCHAM members and US$200 for non-members.

Describing the event as a not-to-be missed business opportunity, Young Sang sought to make a case for every Jamaican business serious about expanding to the biggest consumer market in the world to come on board.

According to the AMCHAM Jamaica president, “The opportunities are countless, there are different spin-offs that can come from this (virtual trade mission), you can only know if you try. What we are saying is come out, sign up and register, you can never know where the road will lead you.”

Young Sang cited many advantages of this virtual trade mission that makes it a no-brainer for Jamaican businesses to want to participate such as the fact that they will not have to find air fare, hotel accommodation and in-land transportation to meet with the US companies.

When asked whether this trade mission was merely a venue for American companies to find source market for their produce, Young Sang answered to the contrary.

She declared that the trade mission is a mutually beneficial encounter between Jamaican businesses and their American counterpart adding that there will be companies coming that are in search of investment prospects in Jamaica and vice versa. She stated that from the virtual trade mission AMCHAM is bringing businesses opportunities at the door steps of Jamaican businesses.

HAPPENINGS ON THE DAY

Young Sang is promising an exciting day of activities come December 1 with chairman of Jamaica's Economic Growth Council Michael Lee Chin, one of the biggest investors in the island, accepting the invitation as the keynote speaker. There will be different speakers throughout the day from various sectors of the American economy, including officials from the US Department of Commerce.

There will be a panel discussion moderated by tax and business management expert Alison Peart, who chairs AMCHAM's Trade and Investment Committee. In the afternoon, there will be a networking session, where local businesses network with the American companies of their interest.

EARLIER TRADE MISSION PUSHED BACK TO 2021

The virtual trade mission is a precursor to a bigger in-person one, which was originally booked for earlier this year but had to be pushed back to next year because of COVID-19. Having pushed back this in-person trade mission, which saw as much as 160 countries registered because of travel restrictions and limitations of gathering, it was decided to have a virtual mission.


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