As the Government of China pledges to establish a US$533 million preferential loan facility to spur Chinese companies to invest in the Caribbean, private and public sector representatives returning from a recent Jamaica mission to China are hailing “Jamaican Art, Culture and the Creative Industries” as presenting the biggest opportunity to deepen business and trade ties with the world’s fourth largest economy.
At a media briefing in Kingston on Friday (October 5), the President of Jamaica Trade and Invest, Robert Gregory and the President of the Jamaica Exporters Association, Marjory Kennedy, who both participated in the trade mission to China, reported on the huge opportunities and possibilities in China.
Mr. Gregory pointed out that doing business with China will require building a competitive advantage for Jamaican goods and services on the platform of culturally inspired creativity and innovation. “It is the Jamaican culture and the people’s creativity and innovation that make our goods and services unique, and which in turn distinguishes us from the rest of the world”, added Gregory.
The JEA President concurred, adding that Jamaica should not only take advantage of the many opportunities but should focus on promptness and more strategic approaches to building business capacity. “Doing business successfully with China requires an understanding and appreciation of how the Chinese do business”, continued Mrs. Kennedy.
The creative industries speaks to the conversion of ideas and skills in the arts, business and technology to create new economic value and to generate income by protecting and leveraging intellectual property such as copyright and patents.
The 20-member contingent representing various sectors of the economy, including tourism, shipping and logistics, agribusiness, trade and development financing as well as the media, participated in the hectic seven-day mission that covered the 2nd Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, the China International Fair on Investment and Trade and a number of key Business Conferences and Matchmaking Meetings.
Jamaica Trade and Invest’s manager of Emerging Markets, Jason Hall, who played a key role in coordinating the mission, itemized the generation of new investment leads, the promotion of Brand Jamaica and the signing of a number of agreements, as some of the chief gains from the Mission.
Jamaica’s resident Ambassador in China, Wayne McCook and his small staff were highly instrumental in facilitating the strategic meeting with various powerbrokers in the Chinese Government and business community.
Three major agreements were signed during the trip: Jamaica Trade and Invest signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Two Way Investment Cooperation with the Investment Promotion Agency of China, as well as the China-Caribbean Joint Business Council Declaration aimed at strengthening and promoting business.
The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and the China Development Bank also signed a cooperation pact, which was signed by Managing Director Milverton Reynolds.
Representatives from the Jamaica Tourist Board, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jamaica Agricultural Society, Ministry of Finance, Port Authority of Jamaica, Kingston Logistics Centre, Ministry of Tourism, Tax Administration Services Department and the Media were part of the delegation along with the JEA and JTI.