Organisers hail Expo 2014 a success
EXPO Jamaica 2014 has been lauded as the biggest and most successful staging of the event by its organisers.
President of Jamaica Exporter's Association (JEA) Marjory Kennedy, immediate past president of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) Omar Azan and co-chair of Expo 2014 Paulette Rhoden all dubbed the event a major success.
The three-day JMA/JEA trade show, which ended yesterday at the National Arena in Kingston, saw more than 200 local companies showcasing their products to some 500 buyers from 27 overseas countries.
"The response from the overseas and local buyers have been really positive; They have really been pleased with the standards and quality of the goods," Kennedy told the Jamaica Observer. "I know that quite a few orders have already been placed."
The hoteliers and farmers, she said, were really pleased to have been included in this year's staging of the event.
"This is the biggest so far and the best, as a matter of fact we have had to turn back possible booth holders because we didn't have the space so going forward we really need to find additional space," Kennedy disclosed.
Similar sentiments were also expressed by Azan who declared the event the most successful based on the number of exhibitors, buyers and patrons.
A positive of the event, he said, was that Jamaicans have recognised the need to start working to move the manufacturing sector forward.
"Jamaican people have realised that something needs to be done about the productive sector and you can see from the support," Azan said.
"We have had very good support from the companies on display because even though things are very hard for them, they went way out in terms of getting really nice booths, getting nice products and new products and really how they marketed
their businesses as they realise we have got to do something about our business," Azan said.
Equally pleased with the success of the event was Rhoden who highlighted the partnership with the Jamaica Hotel Tourist Association, which had 30 hotel and attractions represented at the expo, as well as the farmers market and the great responses from the local exhibitors and international buyers as contributing factors to the success of this year's event.
"It has been a very magnificent expo and all my exhibitors have been very pleased except for the fact that it has been very hot in the arena, that has been the only complaint," she said.
Rhoden said the expo had surpassed the average 12,000-15,000 visitor mark which would make it the biggest ever staging.
Responses form the international buyers, she said, were very good even as she implored the local companies to follow up on the links which were made.
"I have been to the expo and I am really impressed with the products and the presentation and also the fact that several companies launched new products," she added.