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Jamaicans in Diaspora encouraged to invest in local ventures

By Douglas McIntosh

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – Jamaicans in the diaspora are being encouraged to invest in several potential areas of opportunity that have been identified locally by Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO).

JAMPRO vice president for sales and promotion, Norman Naar, says they include tourism, agriculture/agro-business, manufacturing, and mining, noting that these and others are key investment opportunities that position Jamaica as a “unique selling proposition”.

He was speaking during a virtual Jamaican diaspora forum on the theme ‘Investing in Jamaica”, on Thursday, March 4.

The event was co-hosted by the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and the Jamaican Consul General in New York, Alsion Wilson.

In the area of tourism, Naar said there is “growing interest” for offerings incorporating retirement villages, wellness resorts, and boutique hotels.

“There is also the Mandeville Hotel for acquisition, with a purchase price of US$3.2 million,” he informed.

Naar also pointed to “high demand” products in agriculture that offer significant opportunity. These, he pointed out, include Scotch bonnet pepper, “where we see strong export opportunity”, ginger, pimento, yam, coco, and Blue Mountain Coffee.

“Then there is much being said about the cannabis industry, and it remains an area of opportunity. So, we are looking for partners [interested in establishing] greenhouses, processing facilities, and indeed, dispensaries,” the vice president added.

Naar also highlighted climate-smart agro-park facilities, which, he said, are available, citing a 2,000-acre aquaculture facility in St Elizabeth among these.

He also pointed to two high-tech ventures, an organic greenhouse farm and an organic fertiliser production facility, the latter of which was the first of its kind in Jamaica.

“We’re looking at a 20 percent equity stake in the company, which promises attractive returns,” he added.

Naar said Jamaica’s significant deposits of high-quality limestone renders this an area worth investing in.

“We are looking for equity partnership for upgrading and expansion [of limestone] into value-added products, than merely aggregates,” he pointed out.

In manufacturing, Naar pointed to “booming interest” around personal care and beauty products, largely incorporating Black Castor Oil and Aloe Vera.

“We see all of these as targeted opportunities for members in the diaspora. JAMPRO is willing to facilitate diaspora members [being linked] with other potential investors in these areas,” he said.

The Investing in Jamaica virtual forum, which started in 2019 as the brainchild of Consul General, Alsion Wilson, is a long-term partnership project with the Jamaica Stock Exchange aimed at providing members of the diaspora with the necessary tools for building their finances through sound financial strategies.

The Forum is designed to sensitise investors in the United States, specifically the diaspora, and other decision-makers living in the USA of Jamaica’s investment climate; explore and promote opportunities on the equity and bond market for potential investors from within the diaspora and others in the USA; and lay the foundation for increasing the flow of investments in Jamaica, with an emphasis on growing the number of diaspora investors.

To achieve these, the Forum brings together financial experts to share their knowledge on matters ranging from the stock market, short-term loans for emerging market projects, identifying channels for wealth creation, updates on the economic climates in Jamaica and the USA, investing wisely in the market, and unlocking value in a crisis.



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