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November 3, 2012
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Ja courts Scottish companies

Her Excellency Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, Jamaica's High Commissioner to London shares warm greetings from Jamaica to members of the Scottish business community at the 'Bolt for Business' seminar held at the HSBS Bank in Glasgow, Scotland, recently. - Contributed

Glasgow, Scotland:

The European Regional Office of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) and the Jamaican High Commission in the UK jointly presented the country's trade and investment opportunities to major players in the Scottish business community at the 'Bolt for Business' seminar held at the HSBS Bank in Glasgow, Scotland, on Wednesday, October 17.

Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, Jamaica's High Commissioner to London, in her presentation to the gathering, emphasised the importance of the seminar in developing closer commercial ties with Scotland. She explained, "The government is eager to attract foreign direct investment and increase Jamaican exports to Europe. We have made every effort to provide a stable political environment in which to live and prosper, by ensuring the rule of law, freedom of association and freedom of the press."

Skilled labour

Laurence Jones, JAMPRO's manager of the European Regional Office, delivered a comprehensive presentation on Jamaica's attractiveness as a business location. He highlighted the country's first-class transportation and telecommunications infrastructure, which contributed to Jamaica being acknowledged by the FDI intelligence report as having the "best infrastructure for foreign direct investments" within the Caribbean and Latin America regions. He also highlighted the strategic location and capacity of Kingston Harbour, and mentioned the island's three international airports, the abundance of skilled labour and the attractive business incentives on offer.

According to Jones, Scottish companies are increasingly recognising the economic benefit of expanding their business into Jamaica, pointing to the recent investment made by Glasgow-based Isocon Engineering. Isocon, in collaboration with Jamaican company JLB Shipping, established an ISO tanker service centre in the Port of Kingston. The facility allows ISO-tank container operators throughout the Caribbean and Latin America to strategically position equipment for cleaning, repairs, testing, certification and storage, thereby reducing the cost of freight transport.

Jones said, "I believe that this investment will also facilitate increased exports of Jamaican rum and will make Jamaica the regional hub for ISO tanker container services."

Limited interaction

Jones stated that the upcoming XX Commonwealth Games, which will be staged in Glasgow from July 23 - August 3, 2014, represented another opportunity to strengthen the Jamaican-Scottish relationship. He said, "Although Scottish consumers have limited interaction with Jamaican brands, we believe that the Commonwealth Games in 2014 will provide a unique opportunity to promote and increase demand for luxury Jamaican food brands in Scotland. We invite Scottish distributors and retailers to partner with Jamaican suppliers, and profit from the euphoria that Brand Jamaica will bring to Glasgow before, during and after the Games."

Representatives of the Jamaica Tourist Board, Minister Counsellor Lincoln Downer of the Jamaican High Commission and Professor Geoff Palmer also made presentations. The seminar was organised by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry and the Business Club Scotland, both of which are key figures in the Glasgow business community.

The 'Bolt for Business' seminar was one of a number of visits made by JAMPRO and the Jamaican High Commission, including an evening reception hosted by Councillor Sadie Docherty, Lord Provost of the Glasgow City Council held on Tuesday, October 16th at the Glasgow City Chambers.

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