Ahead of its Expo Jamaica event scheduled to take place today, the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) has cited the increased penetration of export markets by local suppliers as being top of the list of outcomes.
“The main objective going into and coming out of this event is to make connections. The JMEA sees export as the way to go for Jamaica, especially as we seek to grow the manufacturing sector. Of course, we have a market here, but it is too small. So once we can find opportunities for local products, whether in the Diaspora, Caribbean, or internationally, we would have hit the target,” said Simara Howell, executive director of the JMEA.
“Once we can also connect a supplier to a new buyer or get a supplier who has never exported before to secure the requisite connections or even be given the opportunity to grow their business in new markets, then our objective would have been achieved,” she told the Business Observer.
The biennial event, which was cancelled last year following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, returns this year in a virtual format and will feature over 200 buyers from regions inlcuding North America, Canada, United States, the United Kingdom, and the Caribbean engaging in virtual business to business (B2B) meet ups with players in the local productive and export sectors. Participants in the event will be given the chance to promote and benefit from a wide range of products spanning food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, agricultural produce, furniture and bedding among others.
“In an effort to ensure that we do not miss the opportunity, especially as the world reopens, we have decided to take it to the virtual space. We won't get to do the exhibition part of it but, nevertheless, we have proceeded to provide the platform for the buyers to meet with the suppliers, who also get the chance to pitch their products,” Howell said.
Referencing impact assessment data from previous stagings of the event, Howell said the initiative has in the past delivered some good results in terms of giving suppliers access to new markets. She said the establishment of good relationships with some of these buyers has over time resulted in increased export of local products to these markets.
The event, which kicks off with an opening and message from JMEA President John Mahfood, will also see the hosting of live sessions throughout the day on important trade topics, along with a business solution segment to be led by title sponsor National Commercial Bank (NCB).
Source: Ja. Observer
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