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Jamaica Revving Up its Profile in the UK this Year

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), in collaboration with the Government, through Jamaica Trade and Invest (JAMPRO), will roll out several events in the United Kingdom this month and March to promote ‘Brand Jamaica’ in the lead-up to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, in London.

The events are being rolled out under the ‘Meet Jamaica’ initiative, which will showcase Jamaican products and services. Earl Jarrett, Chairman of the PSOJ Trade Policy Committee, said this should have particular resonance, given the substantial Diaspora community in the UK, and Jamaica’s traditionally high profile in the track and field medal standings at the Olympic Games.

“’Meet Jamaica’ increases our country’s visibility and business opportunities in Europe during this period of heightened interest in the nation,” Mr. Jarrett said. “It will facilitate greater engagement between the UK business leaders and Jamaican business enterprises, as well as provide authentic Jamaican experiences.”

The events are slated to take place in London, Birmingham and Brixton leading up to the Games of the XXX Olympiad, scheduled to take place from July 27 to August 12; and the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Jamaican Independence, on August 6.

The ‘Meet Jamaica’ events began last year and, continued with the high profile fashion event, London Fashion Week, which was held February 17 – 20 at Charing Cross Hotel, Regency Room in London. Three Jamaican designers, Sandra Kennedy and upcoming designers, Arlene Martin, Juliette Dyke and Diaspora designer, Gavin Douglas showcased their pieces under the theme: “Jamaica, One People Emerging Talent Showcase”.

Earl Jarrett, Chairman of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica Trade Policy Committee addressing the Meet Jamaica launch back in October 2010 at the Courtleigh Auditorium, New Kingston.

Other events on the ‘Meet Jamaica’ calendar include: the three-day Food & Drink Expo which will be held in Birmingham NEC, and JAMPRO’s Annual Investment Forum, slated for March 25-27 and 29 respectively.

The UK’s largest food and drink trade exhibition, brings together grocery, food service, wholesale, manufacturing and specialty retail traders. The event has been staged every other year for more than 20 years, and participating Jamaican businesses will be able to meet over 500 from across the UK and internationally.

JAMPRO will also host its annual Investment Forum during March to provide executives from multinationals, along with small and medium sized enterprises from the UK, with access to the products and services through dialogue with business leaders. It is anticipated that representatives of the Jamaican government will attend the event this year.

The objective of the one-day conference is to identify potential UK investors and importers, highlighting Jamaica’s commercial infrastructure, and its business friendly environment. The forum will provide the international business community with face-to-face interaction with Jamaican business leaders from a variety of sectors.

Additionally, Jamaica National Building Society sponsored events will include: “I Love Jamaica London,” scheduled for June, and “I Love Jamaica Birmingham,” promoted by its JN Money Transfer brand, which will take place in August. These fairs provide participants with a context to showcase Jamaican culinary delights and cultural expressions, and patrons welcome these opportunities.

Two other major events on the calendar which is scheduled to run simultaneously during August 2-12 are the “Jamaica Village”, at Finsbury Park in London, and “Jamaica in the Square”, at Victoria Square in Birmingham. Both events are expected to attract more than 200,000 patrons who will be exposed to the Jamaican lifestyle, sports, music and cuisine.

The ‘Meet Jamaica’ initiative was launched two years ago in Kingston, with the UK launches taking place in London and Birmingham in March last year.

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