Accelerating trade between Jamaica and China now possible
Business forum receiving traction in both countriesFriday, October 09, 2020
BY DURRANT PATE
TRADE between Jamaica and China is to be accelerated with the launch of the Jamaica China Business Forum (JCBF), which aims to increase exports between the two countries.
The forum, which had its soft launch recently, is particularly beneficial to Jamaica as it seeks to find markets in China for Jamaican produce and services while at the same time growing Chinese businesses interest in investing in Jamaica.
The JCBF is geared towards providing a platform for Chinese and Jamaican businesses and professionals to meet, share, collaborate and create opportunities and contribute to the collaborative efforts of appropriate local and regional business and trading bodies in Jamaica and China. In addition, the JCBF will encourage Chinese and Jamaican students to experience business culture and practice in Jamaica and China.
Already, the JCBF is receiving traction in the business community in both China and Jamaica as it provides a network for people who are interested in working, sharing and collaborating with others on business activities between the two countries. As part of its initial work, the JCBF will be organising regular events on the Chinese community doing business and making investments in Jamaica.
The JCBF will also assist local businesses in prospecting for opportunities in China, particularly the export of goods and services whilst seeking to balance the heavy investments being made in Jamaica by Chinese businesses, particularly in the past 10 to 15 years. China's investments in Jamaica have been concentrated in infrastructure and will soon expand to tourism, with the Asian country already having a footprint in Jamaica's shipping and logistic market.
The not-for-profit JCBF places great emphasis on “You can do it” by inviting experienced Jamaican and Chinese businesses and professionals to share their practical experience with doing business.
JCBF president Sheila Pryce Brooks pointed out that the forum is working to provide a bridge between small and medium-size businesses in Jamaica and the Chinese economy. She emphasised that JCBF is a partnership founded in the spirit of co-operation, mutual understanding and economic development, which will focus on core areas of need for the Jamaica business sector.
“We are a group of people who passionately believe in collaborating with each other to share experience[s] and stimulate business opportunities, both large and small, between Jamaica and China. We believe in building and sustaining long-term business relationships that result in mutual benefits,” Pryce Brooks explained.
For her part, vice-president Sophie Christopher stated that all directors and members work voluntarily on JCBF matters and activities, noting that there are no membership fees. According to Christopher, “we encourage people who want to encourage trade between Jamaica and China to get together, get organised, and start doing things collaboratively.”
She emphasised that the forum is not a trading business but will encourage businesses to share information, expertise and collaborate pertaining to doing business with China.