Joe Issa Gives “A+” Rating to New Event on JMA Calendar

Joe Issa Gives “A+” Rating to New Event on JMA Calendar

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Member of the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce Past President Advisory Committee Joe Issa has welcomed the latest addition to the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) calendar of events, describing it as an “excellent” idea and a ‘shot in the arm’ for Jamaican businesses and the economy.
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Member of the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce Past President Advisory Committee Joe Issa has welcomed the latest addition to the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) calendar of events, describing it as an “excellent” idea and a ‘shot in the arm’ for Jamaican businesses and the economy.

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Submitted: February 08, 2017

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Submitted: February 08, 2017

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Member of the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce Past President Advisory Committee Joe Issa has welcomed the latest addition to the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) calendar of events, describing it as an “excellent” idea and a ‘shot in the arm’ for Jamaican businesses and the economy.

Issa joins Jamaica Promotions (JAMPRO) Chairman Don Wehby and Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda, who have lauded the vision of the JMA for its inaugural staging of Jamaica International Exhibition (JIE).

“I applaud the JMA president [Metry Seaga] and his team for coming up with the idea of another international trade exhibition to boost uptake of its members’ products. The event is also a shot in the arm for the Jamaican economy,” says Issa, who in an interview.

Issa notes that “international trade shows create a great platform for the promotion of the country’s exports which, for decades has lagged behind imports, thus creating a huge trade deficit and putting pressure on our foreign exchange.

“I particularly like the idea of hosting the exhibition in the tourism capital as it will reinforce and strengthen the strong links between manufacturing and tourism,” says Issa, who has been a big supporter of the one-of-a-kind exhibition, JAPEX, dubbed ‘the island’s premier travel trade show’ and serves as a platform to promote leading Jamaican suppliers of the island’s tourism product.

Issa, who chairs the board of the St. Ann Development Company (SADCO) which has a huge stake in the tourism sector and is also head of Cool Corp, one of Jamaica’s largest retail conglomerate, says the JIE will be “a great sourcing ground for both local and international companies seeking to increase their product offerings.”

Only recently, Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett lunched five new tourism linkages networks – sports and entertainment, shopping, knowledge, health and wellness, and gastronomy – which, in addition to manufacturing and agriculture, would further diversify Jamaica’s tourism offerings, create business opportunities and increase the use of local goods and services within the tourism sector.

Noting that the upcoming JMA exhibition in the convention centre is timely and will benefit many sectors, Issa says, “It will provide opportunities to support recent measures for many sectors of the economy,” citing Minister Bartlett’s recent addition to the tourism linkages networks, which cut across Minister Sumuda’s portfolio, as well as those of Dr. Tufton, Minister Grange and Minister Reid.

While stating that the exhibition provides a platform for several sectors to showcase their products to local and international hotels and restaurants, Issa says, “There will be many other suppliers from Jamaica, the region and the global community, who do business with supermarkets, wholesalers and retailers…they might be interested in our value-added agro-products, our famous spices, our neutracuiticals, our manufactures, clothing and accessories, and many other local products.”

He adds, “Some foreign companies may also be interested in our growing BPO sector, creative industry and our athletic sport and entertainment products…there may even be promoters looking to tap into how Jamaica puts up its world renowned stage shows…and we must not forget venture capitalists, who may be interested in our inventions and products and take positions in Jamaican companies,” says Issa, whose over-50 companies are being leveraged internationally.


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