The 2012 International Trade Expo staged annually by the Consular Corps of Jamaica, was launched at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston last Thursday.
Guest speaker, Senator A.J. Nicholson in his keynote address said that trade must be main feature in how Jamaica, through its diplomatic missions abroad, conducts relationships with the rest of the world. "Trade constitutes a massive share of our gross domestic product, and access to markets for our goods and services is essential to achieving our economic goals."
Nicholson further stressed that although Jamaica may not be big on production for export, one of the country's strongest resources is that "we have some of the most brilliant people in the world and we need to invest more in service-based industries that could make us become better than some countries that are tops in that industry".
While regretting that we import more than we export, Senator Nicholson said we need to start reversing that trend and that trade expos such as the upcoming October event, are a good way to market our goods.
Milton Samuda, president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), pledged the continued support of the JCC at a time when we are reflecting on the past and looking to the future. "The expo is a good venture in creating trading relations; Jamaican entrepreneurs should see the world at their oyster to aggressively keep up with new markets and secure partnerships," Samuda said. He noted that we can make a greater impact on the marketplaces of the world, through exports of our manufactured goods and the provision of services we have to offer. He urged the gathering to look not only at our domestic markets but also regional and extra-regional opportunities as our future depends on it.
The expo will be held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, from October 4 to 6. Scotiabank is back as the title sponsor, while JAMPRO has also agreed to support the expo by providing pipes and drapes necessary for the 40 booths.