Houston, Texas, April 21 “Jamaica is ready and open for business” declared Minister of Information and Development, Colin Campbell. The Minister was the addressing the Jamaica Trade and Investment Breakfast, hosted in Houston last Friday.
The Minister, in his first overseas assignment in this portfolio, made the declaration while addressing business executives of Houston in a number of sectors, including ICT, real estate, energy, financial services, marketing, surgery, the arts and members of the Jamaican Diaspora. Representatives of Suez LNG, Mustang, Chevron, Chase Bank, DoraTell Networks, in Houston were represented at the meeting.
The event put on by the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) was part of the Houston International Festival which looks at Jamaica’s business, cultural, heritage and cuisine offerings.
The Minister added that with the expansion currently experienced with the boom in the tourism investments, “the linkages to be created across all sectors are keys to the overall growth and development which are inevitable for the investor friendly Jamaica.”
He emphasized that “the continued reform of the public sector is geared at facilitating good business in leading the change towards less red tape, which is a great attraction for doing business.”
Also addressing the meeting was JAMPRO’s Executive Director, Services, Lisa Bell, who outlined the overall trade and investment climate of the island, indicating the cluster of sectors which are taking the lead “making Jamaica a more competitive economy.”
Group Managing Director of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, Ruth Potopsingh, brought greetings and was well received in the Energy Capital of the World – Houston; said renewable energy with LNG at the forefront is another major sector for investment in Jamaica.
Andrew Adams, president of the Jamaica Foundation for Houston, brought greetings from his organization.
The breakfast was hosted under the theme “Today’s Opportunities, Tomorrow’s Success.” The events for the rest of the festival (up to April 30) include full days of cultural and heritage highlights of Jamaica.
Jamaican delegation at the Houston Chronicle Board Meeting
Minister Campbell and Melvin Smith (JAMPRO’s New York Regional manager) attended the board meeting of the Houston Chronicle, also on Friday, where other business leads were created with plans to host interests in Jamaica in upcoming months. The meeting was arranged by the Jamaica Tourist Board and was attended by Dr. Wykeham McNeill, Paul Pennicook, Zein Issa Nakash and Carrole Guntley.
The Houston Chronicle is one of the ten most read newspapers in the United States (www.chron.com)
JAMPRO was also part of the luncheon hosted by the Jamaica Tourist Board where a cadre of Houston’ stop business clientele attended. The lunch was sponsored by Chevron. Jamaica’s Ambassador to Washington, Prof. Gordon Shirley made the keynote address. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee also brought greetings.
Jamaican export on show
Fashion and apparel were featured as part of Jamaica’s vibrant export offering when Pulse Modelling Agency presented two fashion shows on Saturday. The line up of the models included Carla Campbell (Sports Illustrated Cover Girl – March 2006) and upcoming Banana Republic 2006 campaigner, Nadine Willis. Other participants for the festival included Pulse (two fashion shows), Ashe, AJ Brown, Morgan Heritage, Burning Spear and a variety of other performers.
The annual festival is held downtown Houston. The festival focuses on the variety offerings of the country. Jamaica is the only Caribbean country to be featured at this festival. The Caribbean islands were featured in 1998.
The organisers of the festival (www.ifest.org) believe that over 500,000 people will attend the festival which happens over a ten day period. The event ends on Sunday, April 30.
JAMPRO’s participation was facilitated by the Port of Houston, Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica and the Private Sector Development Programme.