A visit from a large delegation of Saudi Arabian interest to the country today is expected to yield positive returns for investment, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Aubyn Hill has said.
"Jamaica is serious about the growth of industries that command strong global appeal. We are clear that Jamaica, with a per capita income of US$5,000 will never get rich by selling to only three million people. Jamaica must therefore expand its global business networks for which our participation in the Saudi-Caribbean Investment Forum presents strong opportunities," the minister said in a statement on Wednesday.
Hill, who is expected to be a part of the local team leading the Saudi delegation which comprises government and business companies on a tour across investment projects in Kingston and Montego Bay, is to examine opportunities for investment with the group in a scheduled ministerial panel discussion. Along with other local stakeholders, he is to be accompanied by Minster of Tourism Edmund Bartlett who will also participate in a series of dialogue on tourism and hospitality with the group.
The delegation during the trip will also explore potential investment options in a number of other growth areas across agriculture, infrastructure and real estate, and logistics.
The Arabian delegation is to arrive after participating in an inaugural two-day Caribbean-Saudi Arabia Summit which began on Wednesday. The country's participation in the summit is aimed at presenting investment ready projects to Saudi investors and financiers as well as to raise awareness of its position as a premier investment location in the region. Other countries participating in the summit include Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Belize, and El Salvador, among others.
Since the start of this year, the country has been giving heavy focus to the Middle East and other Asian countries, as they seek to forge greater partnerships and build sustainable relationships with partners in the largely untapped region, touted to be ripe with lucrative opportunities for business growth and tourism.
Bartlett, in welcoming the team to island, dubbed it an exciting moment which he believes will bring huge opportunities for investment to the country.
"We are excited about the prospects of being able to show them the different investment options in the Corporate Area, in Montego Bay and elsewhere, and that out of it will come foreign direct investmentâ€¦ straight investment in the economy of Jamaica," he said.
Made up of a population of over 34 million inhabitants, Saudia Arabia is the largest producer of oil in the Middle East, controlling the world's second largest oil reserves, estimated at 266 billion barrels.
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