JAMPRO Auditorium, New Kingston
Tuesday March 8, 2011 at 3 p.m.

Good afternoon …

The Jamaica National Building Society is pleased to be associated with the Meet Jamaica 2012 initiative, which is aimed at using the period leading up to the London 2012 Olympics to promote brand Jamaica and to position Jamaica as a country with enormous investment opportunities. 
Since we launched the initiative here in Jamaica last October, enormous strides have been made to concretize the programme and to highlight the benefits that can accrue to Jamaican businesses. 
As you’ve heard, Meet Jamaica 2012 is now in high gear, and in just a few days we will roll out Phase One with a series of events including our participation in the International Food & Drink Expo (IFE) – UK’s largest food and drink trade event; the staging of the UK Investment Forum hosted by JAMPRO; and the official UK Meet Jamaica launch in Birmingham. When we started there were those who doubted and wanted to keep us back, but I am proud to report that the IFE is now over-subscribed.
These activities begin a process of leveraging the Jamaican brand along with our significant Diaspora presence – to promote Jamaican goods and services to the UK and European continental markets, initially, and ultimately to the world – including the thousands of people who will converge on the UK to attend the 2012 Olympic Games and witness Jamaican athletic performance on the track; and millions who will watch from across the world. We are also in partnership with the Birmingham City Council, which will host the Jamaican athlete village during the Games, to ensure that the Jamaican flag will fly high during the period.

Over the next 18 months, Jamaican businesses will infiltrate the UK market and participate in high visibility events where our exporters will have an opportunity to meet with buyers directly.

The mission of the PSOJ and JAMPRO in spearheading this initiative – is to drive the sale of Jamaican goods and services – produced by Jamaicans at home, by Jamaicans in the UK, or by investors who are creating jobs in Jamaica. This is about encouraging investment by firms to achieve the huge investment potential we often speak about.

Meet Jamaica 2012 exemplifies positive public/private sector partnership which combines the strength of ministerial collaboration through the Ministries of Industry, Investment & Commerce; Tourism; and Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, with private sector output to meet the objective of increasing the visibility and economic opportunities for Jamaican businesses.

Today we welcome two additional private sector partners – Virgin Atlantic and the Jamaica Public Service – and salute them for recognizing the value of this collaboration and for deciding to support the initiative. It was important to find a pathway to the UK, and we are proud to have Virgin on board.

The Meet Jamaica team has been actively seeking to identify strategic relationships in travel and accommodation which will enable the 2012 initiative to be a success, and, again, we thank Virgin Atlantic for agreeing to offer special rates to persons and firms participating in Meet Jamaica.

I am confident that Meet Jamaica 2012 will deliver important jobs for Jamaica through export opportunities as you have seen through education and the University of Technology; and we want to get persons in the creative community on board. I invite the business community to observe the Meet Jamaica calendar and to invest in events that match their business objectives. And it is important to express an interest in the events as early as possible, and to capitalize on the benefits they bring.

The Initiative provides various opportunities for companies to showcase their brands to the world. We expect to have significant buyers coming to Jamaica to be introduced to your brands and to meet you, the people, behind the brands.

These events include the Jamaica International Invitational Track Meet at the National Stadium on May 7 which will have a maximum capacity crowd in attendance and be broadcast by RJR locally as well as to more than 22 countries around the world by IEC, an international media firm which has television rights on every continent.

Taste of London 2011 will be held in June where our Jamaican cuisine will be showcased and some 50,000 persons, who are expected to attend the event, will have an opportunity to experience the culture and sample the tastes of Jamaica. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Meet Jamaica 2012 is a real opportunity for Jamaican businesses to give their products and brands international visibility.  We need to help our people realize the confidence that they have, and to step forward in that confidence.

Thank you.


General Manager, Jamaica National Building Society


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