On Friday (July 9), ground was broken on an US$8 million project between IMCA Jamaica (representatives for Caterpillar construction equipment) and finance house Sygnus Group, which will see a facility built on a 32,000 square-foot lot on the Spanish Town Road.
At the ceremony, Dominican Republic’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Angie Martínez made remarks entering on bilateral trade between the two countries.
Below is her presentation in full:
It is an incredible honour, and with a sense of pride and joy, that I stand here this morning, not only because we are witnessing the gradual resurgence of life as we knew it, evident by us gathering together like this, but most importantly because of the momentous occasion we are witnessing in the solidifying of a Dominican investment in Jamaica.
As the recently appointed Ambassador of the Dominican Republic, I have been fortunate enough to have had inherited a bilateral relationship between Jamaica and the DR that is fifty-seven years strong.
Over these almost six decades, we have seen friendships formed on the political front as early as the 1960s between two stalwart of our countries, Sir Alexander Bustamante, the first Prime Minister and National Hero of Jamaica, and Juan Bosch, the first democratically elected President after the end of Trujillo’s dictatorship, to as recent as 2017 when Prime Minister Holness, marked the first bilateral official visit of a Head of Government of Jamaica to the Dominican Republic in over 34 years.
In more recent years we would have seen both countries opening their borders in a significant way to commercial trade. We have also seen a number of companies taking advantage of the numerous opportunities that arose from this, with a view to consolidating the relationship.
IMCA has been such a company that saw the possibility that existed. Since their arrival in Jamaica in 2007 as, among other things, being the exclusive dealer for construction and mining equipment manufacturers Caterpillar, IMCA has cemented itself within the landscape of the Jamaica construction industry. IMCA is the source of about 120 direct and indirect jobs, 99 per cent of which are Jamaican.
And this would not have been possible without the most important element, the human resource. The Stylistics said it best in their oldies hit, “People make the world go round”. Without people, there is no one to lead, no successes to celebrate. As such whatever we do should be for the benefit of the people.
And of course, having 99 per cent Jamaican employees in the company has been without any doubt the key to their success, because even though IMCA is a 100 per cent Dominican Republic investment based company, they were able to perfectly fused and merged themself with the Jamaican culture, so much so that, in the minds of the Jamaican people, IMCA is Jamaican, because it feels like part of them.
This Dominican investment in Jamaica is not an isolated one, we can see that in many sectors, such as construction, tourism, transportation, energy and agriculture.
I must underscored that while our bilateral relationship is strong, and we are pleased to see initiatives of this kind, in keeping with the mandate of Luis Abinader, President of the Dominican Republic, would like to use this opportunity, especially in the presence of Prime Minister Holness to announce that the Dominican Republic is open for business, and the most important, for a more fair and reciprocal commerce exchange with Jamaica.
This major investment here today is symbolic of the countless opportunities and possibilities for partnerships and synergies between our two countries.
Before I end, I would like to thank all the stakeholders involved in this, and recognize the Sygnus Group who saw the vision of IMCA and came on board to make this happen.
I would like to wish for IMCA Jamaica and Sygnus Group all the best and God’s richest blessings during the construction phase of this project. I look forward to returning soon for the opening of the new, and what I believe will be, an impressive, state of the art facility.