National News

Forum to Focus on Business Opportunities in Jamaica

NEW YORK – Jamaicans in New York and Toronto are to gain practical information on developing and sustaining businesses opportunities in Jamaica at the Jamaica National Building Society’s (JNBS) 12th annual Outlook for the Future series, which will focus on opportunities for doing business in a challenging Jamaican economy.

Earl Jarrett, General Manager, Jamaica National Building Society
Earl Jarrett, General Manager, Jamaica National Building Society

Earl Jarrett, General Manager, says there are many businesses established and owned by Jamaicans which have succeeded despite major economic challenges.

“Jamaicans overseas could benefit from the experience of these business leaders, particularly as the country’s economic framework is strengthened and opportunities emerge for investment,” he said.

Against that background this year’s forum will feature presentations from two leading Jamaican private sector leaders: William Mahfood, President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and Chairman of Wisynco Group Limited; and Glenford “Glen” Christian, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cari-Med, who will share their business experiences in growing two large distribution entities during the challenging period of the 1980s. Mr Christian and Mr Mahfood were able to overcome government bureaucracy, international and local competition, high interest rates, security challenges and other obstacles to achieve success. The experiences of the presenters will provide a potential pathway for Diaspora investors.

The Outlook Forum will be held under the theme: Developing Successful Jamaican Businesses in a Challenging Economy and will be held 6:00 pm at the Omni King Edward Hotel in Toronto, Canada on October 7; and 6:30 pm at the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan, New York in the United States of America on October 8.

The Jamaican economy has been improving with some key macroeconomic indicators, such as inflation, now at its lowest at 3.5 per cent. A significant portion of the public debt has also been retired following a debt buy back of some US$2 billion of debt under the Petro Caribe oil deal with Venezuela.

The country has also improved in various global indices as a result, including the Doing Business ranking. Jamaica moved up 36 places in the 2015 report to 58 out of 189 countries. Jamaica has also been described by Forbes Magazine as one of the best investment destinations in the Caribbean.

The Business Opportunities in Jamaica presentations will be followed by a question and answer segment. 

The Outlook for the Future series, organised by the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), has been held in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom since 2003. The meetings have successfully brought together representatives of successive administrations and key leaders overseas to engage in frank, open discussions about issues of national importance to Jamaicans locally and in the Diaspora. In addition, the forums provide an environment in which investors can network and explore opportunities for investment in Jamaica.

Past Outlook speakers have included former National Security Minister and current Finance Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips in 2003 and 2013; former Prime Minister Bruce Golding, who in 2005, as Leader of the Opposition, was keynote speaker at the meetings; former Finance Minister, Audley Shaw who attended in 2009 and again in 2010; and Dr. Omar Davies, Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, who headlined the events in 2013.



South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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