Custom Search 1

A nation on a mission, Jamaican minister tells UK

TALKING LEGACY: High Commissioner Aloun Ndombet-Assamba with Jamaican Minister Anthony Hylton

JAMAICA’S track and field team athletes may have left their pre-Olympic training camp in Birmingham, but they have handed the baton to Jamaica’s business leaders helping secure a trading legacy between the two nations.

The Caribbean island is affirming it is a nation on a trade and investment mission once Olympic dramas and independence celebrations become fond memories.

The message to Birmingham from Anthony Hylton, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, is simple: “Partner with Jamaica and benefit from our rise as a nation at 50. Be part of our astonishing future.

“At 50 we are a confident, forward looking nation. We understand the dynamics of globalisation. We are ready for the world.”

The minister is currently visiting Birmingham as the city launches Jamaica in the Square – five days of celebrations to mark the island 50th anniversary of political independence.

He is being supported by High Commissioner of Jamaica to the UK Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, who is making her "umteenth" visit to Birmingham since taking office two months ago.

The high commissioner is being credited with creating the adverb "Jamaicanly" because that is how everyone now wants to act due to the popularity of the Jamaica and its athletes. She predicts it will soon make its way into the dictionary.

Behind the jerk chicken and rum punch stalls of Jamaica in the Square, serious conversations will be going on as a legacy initiative born out of the Olympics starts to take off.

“We want to share with Birmingham the prospect for investments in some of the major sectors of the Jamaican economy such as ICT, tourism, agribusiness, manufacturing and all the spin-offs to effectively position Jamaica as a hub for global trade,” said Hylton.


LABOUR AND EXECUTIVE: Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Perry Barr, Birmingham, at the table with Harold Davis, executive director of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation

This was backed by Harold Davis, executive director of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation, who along with Mark Thomas and Laurence Jones of JAMPRO, the trade and investment promotions agency of the Government of Jamaica, has joint responsibility for the provision of authentic Jamaican products to the UK during the Olympics.

Davis said there was an emphasis on encouraging young people into business such as fashion and the creation of authentic Jamaican cuisine.

“People want to feel that connection to Jamaica by eating authentic Jamaican food,” he said.

But Ndombet-Assamba said more people from the Jamaican community needed to get themselves round the table in order to be involved Birmingham’s political processes.

This was echoed by Birmingham’s Labour MP for Perry Barr Khalid Mahmood, who pledged to launch an all-party Parliamentary group for Jamaica, while encouraging the Jamaican and Caribbean community to engage more in local politics.

“This is the only way to move forward,” he said. “There are no senior black politicians in Birmingham’s new Cabinet. The Jamaican and Caribbean community has to engage more in politics.”

While community activist Desmond Jaddoo, who stood as Birmingham’s only black candidate in the elected mayor campaign earlier this year, added: “The Jamaican community is very splintered. The church has to be the bedrock for bringing people together.”

He warned against sub-standard products "which had never smelt Jamaica" being passed off by other communities trying to move in on the Jamaican brand.

“We are not cascading down to the third and fourth generations. They have no pride in Jamaica,” he said.

Ndombet-Assamba stressed the importance of engaging with the third and fourth generation, even giving out her email address, adding: “They are lost here. They do not know their roots.

“One of the objectives of this mission is to make sure we connect and re-connect with the third and fourth generation through networking.”

Ndombet-Assamba’e email is: hc@jhcuk.com

Subscribe to The Voice database!

We'd like to keep in touch with you regarding our daily newsletter, Voice competitions, promotions and marketing material and to further increase our reach with The Voice readers.

If interested, please click the below button to complete the subscription form.

We will never sell your data and will keep it safe and secure.

For further details visit our privacy policy.

You have the right to withdraw at any time, by clicking 'Unsubscribe'.

Facebook Comments