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JM | Nov 24, 2022

Jamaica sending trade mission to T&T and Dom Rep shortly

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T&T trade mission now in Jamaica being wooed for investments/partnerships

Senator Aubyn Hill, minister of industry, investment and commerce.

Durrant Pate/Contributor

Jamaica plans to send a trade mission to the sister Caribbean nations of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) and the Dominican Republic in the coming weeks.

This was disclosed by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Senator Aubyn Hill, in welcoming a business delegation from T&T on Monday (November 21) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

The delegation, which is being led by that country’s minister of trade and industry, Paula Gopee-Scoon, has been in the island since November 20 and will depart today.

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon.

The four-day tour by the 17 T&T businesses, which are from the construction, food and beverage, logistics, packaging and printing, chemicals, and other sectors, is part of an attempt to increase and develop bilateral export commerce between the nations.

Hill used the occasion to promote Jamaica, as a place for investment and developing partnerships for T&T businesses.

Making out a case for Jamaica

He posited to many positive signs for Jamaica such as the fact that business confidence has never been higher, up 18.3 points in the most recent study, the highest point level in 20 years. The minister highlighted that Jamaica’s economic growth rate and a workforce that could be trained as key drivers of investment.

“Before the pandemic, at the end of 2019, we had 43,000 people employed in the business process outsourcing sector. We now have upwards of 55,000 and growing quite fast.”

Senator Aubyn Hill, minister of industry, investment and commerce

In the last fiscal year, Hill told the T&T delegation that the Jamaica economy, Hill increased by 8.2 per cent and during the second fiscal quarter, which ends in September, the nation registered a growth rate of 4.8 per cent. According to him, “we are training to make sure that when you come to invest, you have good people to work for you. We have… 1.5 million people in the Kingston, Portmore, St Catherine area that speak English, are very young and can be trained, will be trained and are being trained”.

Continuing, Hill remarked: “So, we have the workforce that you can work with; we have an economy that is growing; we have the fact that people are being employed. Before the pandemic, at the end of 2019, we had 43,000 people employed in the business process outsourcing sector. We now have upwards of 55,000 and growing quite fast.”

Hill noted that Jamaica’s central bank and stock exchange are also well respected, adding: “This is a place that we are very happy that Trinidadians are coming.”

For her part, Gopee-Scoon argued for the strengthening of ties between Caribbean nations.

Tightening regional connectivity

“We must continue to make these relations seamless and to tighten the connectivity between us in all ways, business included… . We must trade with each other; we must be complementary in the trade that we do to ensure that trade benefits both sides,” Gopee-Scoon said.

The visit is intended to “solidify relationships,” according to Tricia Coosal, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA), who also spoke.

Coosal said: “TTMA always views Jamaica as [one of] our most valued trading partners in the region; however, we will all agree that this relationship is much more than trade. Today, it has expanded its tentacles to include investment, tourism and even cross-cultural mixing.”

Tricia Coosal, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association.

Coosal pointed out that Jamaica’s geographic position, legal system, economic stability, and infrastructure make it an attractive place for both single and multiple investments as well as commercial prospects.

She admitted that various goods are exported to Jamaica from different sectors in T&T, such as food and beverage, construction, printing, and packaging. The statistics also show positive growth in the trade of goods and services from Jamaica, and investment flows, as well, into T&T over the last couple of years.

She expressed her hope that the conversations held will be beneficial and develop into partnerships and joint ventures.

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