A good step towards attracting investment
One of the more heartening bits of news that this newspaper published this week was that of the interest in Jamaica voiced by potential investors from Philadelphia in the United States.
According to Ms Linda Mysliwy-Conlin, president of the World Trade Centre of Greater Philadelphia, she is impressed with the stability and growth of the Jamaican economy. Ms Mysliwy-Conlin also said that now is an excellent time to invest in Jamaica and encouraged her colleagues to do just that.
"I want to appeal to the business sector in Philadelphia to think about investing and doing trade between Jamaica and us," she said. "There is a significant opportunity to increase trade between Philadelphia and Jamaica and I can assure you that all efforts will be made to seize this golden opportunity. This is a win-win opportunity for both Jamaica and Philadelphia."
Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) report informed us that Ms Mysliwy-Conlin was speaking at a forum on investment opportunities in Jamaica hosted by the United States Department of Commerce and the Greater Philadelphia World Trade Centre in conjunction with the Jamaican Embassy in the US.
According to the report, Ms Mysliwy-Conlin stated that her organisation would be sensitising the business community in Philadelphia about the vast amount of opportunities available for investment in Jamaica as well as the potential to increase trade between that city and Jamaica.
That message seemed to have resonated with Mr Jonathan Savage, the vice-president of Pennoni, a top engineering company, as he was reported to have said he was eager to do business with Jamaica.
Mr Savage, we are told, said that this was the first time he was attending an event like this that gave information about specific projects. He also commended Jamaica for staging the forum which, he said,was impressive and critical to his business development.
Our pleasure with this forum has its foundation in a position we have advanced in this space for a long time — that Jamaica’s foreign missions should engage more in economic diplomacy.
The current Government, we note, made this an election campaign promise, and since taking office it has reiterated its commitment to this strategy which is a good first step towards attracting much-needed foreign investment. Now, the country is seeing the possibilities of this approach to attracting overseas investment.
As we have stated before, in a world economy undergoing rapid and comprehensive globalisation, all countries — but in particular developing countries — are competing for foreign direct investment. This is a strategy that the British Government implemented in 2010.
While Jampro is already mandated to attract foreign investors, Jamaica can only benefit if its missions abroad give greater support to that effort.
Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States, Ms Audrey Marks, and her team deserve commendation for this effort in Philadelphia. Our hope is that it will bear fruit and spur other missions abroad to direct more investors here.