'JAMAICA HOUSE', which was officially opened at the 02 Arena in North Greenwich, south-east London, just three miles from the Olympic Stadium, last Friday, is a popular hang-out spot for Jamaicans and has set the stage for investment and retail opportunities for the country.
Large-screen televisions, Red Stripe Beers in their original pint size bottles stacked in the vintage bar, J. Wray and Nephew products, an assortment of cooked food in the outdoor restaurant and a throng of Jamaicans and their friends settled in for days of cheering and celebration that coincides with Jamaica's 50th year of Independence.
From early afternoon last Friday, the Jamaica House Terrace in Proud2 was adorned with palm trees and colours of the Jamaican flag.
Commenting on the 'Jamaica House', Minister of Industry and Commerce Anthony Hilton said, "As you can see the House is a fantastic response from the Jamaican public and the British government, and we believe that in the days to come, the investment and retail opportunities will be tremendous."
Athletes in good spirit
Having also visited the Olympic Village earlier in the day, Hylton said, "Our athletes are in good spirits ... I have every expectation that our medal haul will be quite satisfactory to Jamaica and all of us."
UK's Foreign Office Minister Henry Billingham said, "There are very strong ties between our two nations, and we might even say Jamaica is the second home team at this Olympics." He congratulated Jamaica on its 50th Independence while emphasising that in the current challenging economic times the private sector must be the engine of growth for both economies and hoped that the current activities provide a unique opportunity to sell Jamaica to the world. "We want our bilateral trade to double between UK and Jamaica over the next four years," he said.