JMEA goes virtual with Expo Jamaica 2021
(From left) Diane Edwards, president of Jamaica PromotionsCorporation; John Mahfood, president of Jamaica Manufacturersand Exporters Association (JMEA); Stephen Dawkins, group exportmanager, Wisynco Group; and Drew Gray, CEO of Scotch Boyz andGray's Pepper Products, at the launch of JMEA's Expo Jamaica2021. (Photo: Facebook @expojamaica)

Beset by restrictions on travel and hosting in-person events, the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) is moving its biennial trade show, Expo Jamaica 2021, to the virtual space.

According to the JMEA's marketing and public relations officer Kelroy Clarke, the biennial event returns after its cancellation last year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Unlike the pageantry of Jamaican products and services at the National Indoor Sports Centre and National Arena in Kingston, Jamaica, the association will host its virtual Business 2 Business (B2B) Series of meetings on October 27, 2021, under the theme 'A Vision of the Future'.

Some 100 JMEA members will gain exposure and interact with buyers across the region and the globe on a secure, live virtual platform. Participants will promote products including farm fresh produce, therapeutic teas, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, processed foods, sauces and condiments, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, furniture and bedding, plant-based beauty products, among others.

“The show will provide regional and global buyers the virtual opportunity to facilitate multiple meetings irrespective of the buyers' and sellers' geographic location,” the JMEA outlined in a press release.

“Buyers' interest, as with previous years, has been strong with several local suppliers already committed to participate,” it added.

So far, the JMEA has secured title sponsorship from its long-standing partner National Commercial Bank, while the Jamaica Promotions Corporation will handle the events “buyer recruitment portfolio”. The Wisynco Group and the Ministry of Investment and Commerce have signed on as gold sponsors with Walkerswood and ARC Manufacturing stepping up as silver sponsors.

In recognising its sponsors, JMEA noted that the companies, and government ministry, understand “the value of Expo Jamaica and its contribution to economic growth and development and are committed to making the staging a huge success''.

The association further pointed out that Expo Jamaica will play a fundamental role in assisting the nation on its path to economic recovery. In addition, it said the event will channel multi-sectoral exposition that will allow manufacturers and exporters in various industries to meet with prospective buyers through its planned B2B meetings.

Expo Jamaica 2021 also aims to give Jamaican companies a head start as economies across the globe reopen for business after waves of severe spikes in coronavirus cases.

“With the world reopening to commerce and trade, and MSMEs (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) trying to navigate pathway to normalcy amidst the pandemic crisis, JMEA and its partners saw the necessity to host Expo Jamaica 2021 and pivot to a virtual format that will offer local suppliers the visibility and platform needed to safely showcase their business models, products and services to buyers on a global scale,” the association stated.

It said, in addition, that the theme lends itself to “members finding solutions and optimising business opportunities with a vision for the future”.

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