“This is the time to invest!” Hylton emphasized importance of Diaspora investment into Jamaica’s economy

Working together for the Diaspora: “ The Honourable G. Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce (centre) listens to President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards as she speaks of potential business opportunities being marketed by JAMPRO at the Business Leaders Power Breakfast held Tuesday (June 15), in Montego Bay at the Jamaica Diaspora Conference 2015. Don Wehby, CEO of GraceKennedy Limited (right), Dr. Winston Adams, Executive Chairman and President of the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) (second left) and Dr. Genevieve Metzger, Diaspora Consultant, UCC (second right) spoke at the event, which was attended by business leaders and investors from Jamaica’s Diaspora.”


St. James, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Industry Minister, the Honourable G. Anthony Hylton, says that Jamaica is experiencing the ideal conditions for diaspora investment in a number of sectors. The Minister was speaking early yesterday morning (June 16) at the Business Leaders’ Power Breakfast at the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, held in Montego Bay.

Held under the theme “Jamaica and the Diaspora: Linking for Growth and Prosperity”, the business breakfast featured Jamaican business leaders: Don Wehby, Group CEO GraceKennedy, Dr. Winston Adams, Executive Chairman and President of the University College of the Caribbean (UCC), former Jamaican consul general Dr. Genevieve Metzger, UCC Diaspora Advisor and Milton Samuda, Chairman of JAMPRO.

The main objective of the power breakfast, which was hosted jointly by JAMPRO and the UCC, was to raise the awareness of diaspora business leaders of the improvements in the Jamaican business environment and the many business opportunities available to diaspora entrepreneurs.  The select group of diaspora business owners, SMEs and investors invited to the meeting, connected in animated discussions on Jamaica’s future development and growth.

Wehby in his presentation, gave investors some of his personal experiences expanding the GraceKennedy corporate portfolio and profit, underscoring the importance of the diaspora market as a key to the international success of the brand. He emphasized the strength of the Jamaican brand globally and suggested that the government’s strategy to grow the  creative industries, business process outsourcing (BPO), logistics and agro-processing sectors will create significant economic growth for Jamaica; providing the best return on investment for Diaspora investors.

Minister Hylton echoed Wehby’s suggestions for viable sectors and also added tourism, medical marijuana, industrial hemp and manufacturing as viable investment opportunities in Jamaica. He said that one of Jamaica’s strongest global assets is the Diaspora community, and suggested that they should (in their own cities) capitalize on Jamaica’s growing economic profile internationally to build on the country’s brand value worldwide.

Hylton said, “Jamaica has not remained static but has experienced positive movement since the Diaspora Conference in 2013. We have made significant strides to ensure that Jamaica is more business friendly for investors, whether local or foreign. Today, we are more competitive, we are more focused and with your investment push we can achieve even greater things.”

The Jamaica Diaspora Conference 2015 is being held from June 13-18 in the country’s second city. The main highlights of the conference include JAMPRO’s business-to-business matchmaking services, the 78 exhibitor Diaspora Marketplace, concurrent breakout sessions and site visits to expose the visiting executives to potential growth opportunities in the country. JAMPRO is marketing approximately 50 viable “ready to go” investment projects proposed by Jamaican SMEs during the 4-day event.

Published Date: 
Wednesday, June 17, 2015