The Dominican Republic’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Mrs. Angie Martinez and Jamaica’s Minister of Industry Investment and Commerce Senator Aubyn Hill opened the first Dominican Week in Jamaica which took place from February 20th to 25th.
This innovative initiative was the brainchild of Ambassador Angie Martinez who, upon her arrival in Jamaica set out to forge closer trade and investment relations between the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Ambassador Martinez engaged with the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) and JAMPRO, the Jamaican government’s investment and trade agency, to assist in planning this dynamic event aimed to increasing trade and investment between Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.
Over three days the panels covered such topics as Tourism and Air Connectivity, Logistics and Connectivity in the Caribbean, Agricultural trade between the two countries and a panel on Finance with panelists representing the Jamaica Stock Exchange, JMMB (Jamaica Money Market Brokers), which has operations in the Dominican Republic, the Reserve Bank of the Dominican Republic and noted Jamaican economist Keith Collister.
One of the innovative aspects of the event was that it also laid heavy emphasis on investment opportunities in both countries with impressive presentations made by Mrs. Bibiana Riveiro, Executive Director of ProDominicana and Mrs. Shullette Cox, President of JAMPRO.
Some of the areas which were highlighted for investment and joint ventures included BPO, hotel developments, logistics and agriculture. Both speakers highlighted investments already made in both countries by Jamaican and Dominican companies.
Adding to the panels and ceremonies, there was a heavy focus on B2B meetings between Jamaican and Dominican companies. In a meeting several months ago with JAMPRO and the Private Sector Association of Jamaica, Ambassador Martinez emphasized that it was her objective to see tangible deals come out of this event. The Private Sector Organization of Jamaica and JAMPRO worked together to match relevant companies seeking distributors, suppliers and possible joint ventures.
This week of events and B2B meetings demonstrated both governments’ full commitment to continue to build a mutually trade network, integrate supply chains, explore more sectors for investment and enable our companies to fully benefit from the resultant opportunities.
The commercial exchange between the Dominican Republic and Jamaica for the period 2015-2022 was USD $595.4 million dollars, with 97.7% corresponding to exports.
In addition, the goods exported to Jamaica for 2022 totaled $100.2 million dollars, registering a growth of 17% compared to 2021. While Jamaica recorded USD $1.2 million in 2021, there is growing interest from Jamaican exporters in the Dominican Republic. More Jamaican exporters are now considering designing bilingual labelling which is essential for food products to enter Spanish-speaking countries.
Now more than ever, Dominican companies have been looking at a range of opportunities for investments in Jamaica. Over the past few years Dominican companies have found success in Jamaica, with companies like Magna Motors, GB Energy and Fersan becoming well-known entities. The same can be said of JMMB which has been in the Dominican Republic for over 12 years and JP Foods, which not only has extensive banana plantations but also manufacturing facilities in the neighboring country.
Welcoming, stable investment environments, open economies, and compelling investor incentives and protections are only a handful of the many characteristics that have made both Jamaica and the Dominican Republic prime destinations for foreign investment. The next phase is now nurturing further cross-border investments and joint-ventures between our two countries. I look forward to further engagements with the Dominican Republic and see huge potential for increased investments in various sectors such as BPO, Logistics operations and hotel development.