Jamaica House 2012 in the North Greenwich Arena, London, has helped to enhance Brand Jamaica and further cement connections with new and existing investors, says JAMPRO President Sancia Bennett-Templer.
Organised by JAMPRO and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in collaboration with the Jamaica 50 Secretariat, Jamaica House was among the most popular national houses during the 10-day period August 3 to 12. Speaking on the final day at Jamaica House, Bennett-Templer said, "It has been worth it. You have to evaluate it across many grounds. The name Jamaica has never been stronger, and we were able to leverage the performance of our athletes to help to enhance Brand Jamaica and get across the message that the place you want to visit is the place to do business."
According to Bennett-Templer, through the Jamaica House initiative, JAMPRO was able to connect with a wide range of people who were interested in all things Jamaican.
"What we have found is that we have been able to connect with persons who we would not have normally been able to connect with, but because of their interest in Jamaican culture and their interest in Jamaican athletics, we had persons coming to Jamaica House to explore business opportunities and also to enjoy all things Jamaican. We have been able to connect and start that conversation about Jamaica and investments."
Bennett-Templer said Jamaica House also helped JAMPRO to cement its relationship with the diaspora.
"In terms of our diaspora, which is a very important part of our economic development, I think Jamaica House has helped to cement that relationship as well. Our diaspora contributes over $2 billion a year in remittances to the country and represents an important source of investment in the country," she said.
The diaspora, she said, was also an important source in terms of trade and the purchasing and distribution of Jamaican goods. The JAMPRO president said that going forward, the work continues as it relates to deepening the country's relationship with the diaspora. She disclosed that JAMPRO's London office is already planning an inward mission consisting of persons with interest in trade and investment to Jamaica in October.
JAMPRO hosted five specially targeted trade and investment days at Jamaica House as part of an extensive business programme aimed at targeting buyers, distributors, and prospective investors. The special days focused on the diaspora, international investments, creative industries, agriculture and sports business.
In addition to the trade and investment days, Jamaica House featured a Brand Jamaica display, which showcased an extensive range of high-value, iconic Jamaican products. It also hosted the official flag-raising ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's Independence on August 6.