As reported by Jamaica Information Services website, Jamaica Prime Minister (PM) Portia Simpson Miller was offered an invitation to tour US businesses by the United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC). The invitation was offered by Tom Donohue, President of the US Chamber of Commerce during the 6th Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Columbia. At the summit in April 2012, PM Simpson Miller met with CEO’s of fortune 500 companies of the United States and discussed ways to increase trade and investment.
During discussions with members of the USCC and the Senior Executives business leaders, the Honorable Portia Simpson Miller highlighted Jamaica’s infrastructure plans and the types of services the country would be able to provide with the expansion of the Panama Canal. The Prime Minister explained that Jamaica is positioning itself to become a global shipping and logistics hub by building out its shipping port and continue developing the rail and associated facilities. Given that Jamaica has the 7th largest shipping port in the world and located centrally in the Caribbean Regions and the United States, the trade and investment opportunities available are extremely optimistic. Additional topics discussed at the Summit included health and wellness, information communication technology, agriculture, tourism and pharmaceuticals.
Joined in the business discussions with the Hon. Portia Simpson Miller were the Minister of Industry Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton and President of JAMPRO (Jamaica Production Corporation) Sancia Templer, who serves as Permanent Secretaries and officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and the Office of the Prime Minister. Other discussions were held with several leaders of various countries along with business leaders at the summit. These meeting serve as the perfect vehicle to build on current relationships while brainstorming future opportunities.
Incidentally, the timing of the 6th Summit of the Americas in Columbia held over two days in April 2012, was in essence a great platform to bring clarity and strength to any topic of discussions at the “Global Business Conference in Washington, DC in February 2012. The Global Business Conference was held by US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton with US Vice-President Joe Biden offering his insights on the topic of the conference which was “Economic Statecraft – US Policy in an Age of Economic Power.” As reported by the Jamaica Gleaner, there were “120 other participants from around the globe…”
Jamaica was represented by Becky Stockhausen, Executive Director of The American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica (AMCHAM). She was invited by US Ambassador to Jamaica, Pamela E. Bridgewater. Ms Stockhausen whose responsibilities include assisting US investors as well as promoting Jamaica trade internationally to help foster business stated, “The conference was Secretary Rodham Clinton’s idea because, whereas she understands the need for developing countries to export, she would also like to see increased exports from the United States to countries like Jamaica.” Ms Stockhausen went on to say that the overall aim was to get governments and the business owners to see the benefits of taking economic diplomacy to the rest of the world.
As Secretary of State Clinton reinforces President Barack Obama’s goal on diplomacy when it comes to trade and investment between the US and other countries, it’s clear that Jamaica is well position to capitalize on increase business opportunities going forward. The Global Business Conference in Washington laid the ground work for the 6th Summit of the Americas in Columbia. Jamaica will join other countries with the support of the US to explore Caribbean Sustainable Energy conversations. With Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller providing strong leadership and aggressively cultivating new trade and investment path in the international markets, Jamaica has the edge geographically and the name branding to help drive the country’s success.