Bringing business leaders and investors to Jamaica to meet with their counterparts as well as financial and government representatives has worked well for the country.
To date, some 2,000 jobs have been generated as a result from its inaugural Forum in 2012, and over $500 million worth of projects occurred.
Next week Jamaica’s Trade and Investment agency, Jamaica Promotions (JAMPRO) is hosting the Jamaica Investment Forum 2105 with hopes of continuing the success.
Last year the country received $567 million in direct foreign investment.
“We will have over a $1 billion worth of projects on show for investors,” said Diane Edwards, CEO of JAMPRO.
The manufacturing sector is an important one to the country, representing 8.4% of the country’s GDP in 2013. While that number was off from 2012 ( 8.6%), the Planning Institute of Jamaica Director Colin Bullock is optimistic and predicts growth in early 2015.
"Return to growth is expected for the agriculture and manufacturing industries, while continued strengthening is projected for the construction industry," he said in an article in The Gleaner, adding that the services industry was also expected to record growth.
The manufacturing sector is comprised of the following components:
40% -- Food and Beverage
18% -- Chemicals/ Cosmetics/Pharma
17% -- Printing/Packaging
9% - Minerals/Metals
7% -- Furniture
5% -- Electrical/Electronics/Automotive
Part of the expected improvement is due to the overall improvement in the country’s ranking with regard to ease of doing business. Jamaica ranking out of 146 nations on the 2014 Forbes Best Countries for Business Report, making Jamaica the best country in the Caribbean region to do business, and third in Latin America and the Caribbean.
These factors combined with the country’s improved macro-economic and business environment as well as the significant reduction in global oil prices have also helped to create a much more enabling climate for investors according to a representative of the Inter American Development Bank
The Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, ON, MP, Prime Minister of Jamaica will certainly make that case as she addresses the international investment audience opening day at the Jamaica Investment Forum 2015 on March 11.