Published On: Tue, Mar 10th, 2015

Jamaica targets Central America for export at Panama trade show

expocomerKINGSTON, Jamaica -- Brand Jamaica will be on full display in Panama at Central America’s largest trade show Exposición Comercial Internacional (EXPOCOMER) on March 11-14, 2015. A Jamaican delegation led by Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) will be promoting Jamaican products for export and meeting with buyers to cement business relationships and export leads at the event.

Expocomer provides access to thousands of persons from over 30 countries who are seeking products to procure for their market. The delegation plans to land trade leads and increase awareness of Jamaican products during this market visit to Panama. The market is quite lucrative and is predicted to see great economic growth upon the expansion of the Panama Canal.

Taji Alleyne, general manager at Grace Agro Processors Division - GK Foods & Services Limited wants to grow GK’s export of its pepper products to the Central American Market.

“GK Foods & Services is dedicated to bringing the authentic Jamaican Scotch Bonnet flavour to global markets. Expocomer will give us the chance to promote our pepper mash products 'Real Jamaican Scotchie' to Latin America, which has a palate that is similar to our own,” he said.

Marjorie McCalla, LASCO’s export sales and marketing manager, believes that the Central American market provides an ideal outlet for LASCO’s goods.

“LASCO has been exporting to Panama for several years, and we would like to increase our business in that market. Our main objective in attending Expocomer is to identify distributors in Panama and other Central and Latin American countries. We look forward to establishing great business relationships at this event,” she said.

JAMPRO is aggressively pursuing Latin American markets for export of Jamaican goods. Last year, the agency partnered with the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) to host the “Exporting to Panama” Workshop. Based on the interest from exporters and the agency’s mandate to target Central America, the market and trade visit to Panama was organised.

The agency also recently started the Cuban market development programme, to increase export of Jamaican goods to the Cuban market.

Berletta Henlon-Forrester, market development manager at JAMPRO stated that JAMPRO will explore all opportunities to encourage the export of Jamaican goods to regional markets.

“There are untapped opportunities for exporting to Central America, especially those markets which are experiencing increased economic activity. JAMPRO is encouraged by the level of interest shown by Jamaican manufacturers and will continue to develop this market for export of Jamaican products,” she said.

JAMPRO will be delivering more initiatives throughout the year to develop Jamaica’s access to regional markets for export. The agency will continue to gather market intelligence to find suitable markets for high quality Jamaican products.

Image: (L-R) Imega Breese McNab, Executive Director of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association; Mileda Harris Barrow, CEO of Panama World Trade & Investment; Erick Cajar Grimas, Charge’ d’ Affairs, Embassy of the Republic of Panama; Berletta Henlon Forrester, Market Development Manager, JAMPRO and Robert Scott, Vice President, JAMPRO pose for a photo at last October's Exporting to Panama workshop. The workshop provided Jamaican exporters with training on procedures necessary to export to Panama and opportunities for Jamaican manufacturers in that market. JAMPRO, along with LASCO Manufacturing Limited, P.A. Benjamin Manufacturing Ltd, GK Foods and Services, E.G. Wellness Brands and GulfRay Americas Manufacturing will be heading to Panama this week to take advantage of lucrative exporting opportunities at EXPOCOMER, Central America’s largest trade show. 

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