Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Lee Chin targets Israeli investments for Jamaica

Published:Thursday | January 26, 2017 | 1:00 AMEdmond Campbell
Lee Chin

Head of the Economic Growth Council (EGC) Michael Lee Chin says that he will be meeting with top Israeli businessmen in less than two months in an effort to woo substantial investments from that country to Jamaica.

Lee Chin, who accompanied Prime Minister Andrew Holness to Israel two weeks ago on what he described as a trade mission, said he had dialogue with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to set up a meeting with the principals of the leading companies in the Middle East country.

"I said, 'Please, Prime Minister, can you help us do that - organise the 50 top companies in Israel and I'll come back in the next two months and speak to them and tell them why they should come and invest in Jamaica'?" Lee Chin told stakeholders in the education sector yesterday at Jamaica House in St Andrew.

The EGC chairman discussed with senior technocrats and the leadership of tertiary institutions the role of the education and training sectors in achieving the national goal of five per cent gross domestic product growth in four years.

"The ambition is to sell Jamaica to the most eminent Israeli companies so that they can invest in Jamaica. That was my mission," said Lee Chin, who told the gathering that he was shocked at questions being raised in the press about the trip to Israel.

"I am thinking that if we need growth, we need to go everywhere in the world that can give us growth, and if Israel can give us growth, I don't care, I am going there."

Apparently peeved at a newspaper editorial on the prime minister's visit to Israel where he met with Netanyahu, the chairman of the EGC dismissed concerns relating to Jamaica's involvement in international politics and possible negative implications.

"So please, let's not get drawn into global politics and our kids starve. You see the article, the headlines and editorials, stupid, actually," Lee Chin blasted the press.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com