Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
Donovan Mcfarlane, president of the Jamaica-Brazil Chamber of Commerce, has announced that his country stands ready to forge new business opportunities with Jamaica in order to drive economic growth.
The president, who was speaking at a JN Small Business Loans Limited luncheon on Monday, said there were endless opportunities in the Brazilian market.
"With the economic challenges facing Jamaica and the hardships that face manufacturers, especially, the chamber of commerce can make a difference by opening up new and profitable opportunities in the growing Brazilian market and enable the average business' growth and prosperity," he said.
He invited small, medium, and large businesses in Jamaica to work with the chamber to make it a reality, adding: "We stand ready to cooperate with any viable entity which seeks membership to the chamber."
He added: "Being the fifth-largest country in the world, and with a population of 200 million persons, Brazil is a world leader. The stage has been set to further fuel the economic growth, and we want to begin trade expos with Jamaican products displayed, especially next year, 2014, during the Brazilian World Cup."
General manger of Jamaica National Building Society, Earl Jarrett, who conceptualised the partnership, welcomed the move and urged the Government to capitalise on the opportunities, especially with the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.
"The Brazilian market is a huge one and I know that Jamaica will do well, specifically the small businesses, and so our hope is to be able to provide financing and make use of these opportunities," he said.
Jarrett said it would require a national effort to mobilise Jamaicans into production so that "we won't have a Jamaican shirt being made in China or some other part of the world".