A three-member delegation from the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) will be among participants at the Foodex Japan 2023 Observation Tour in Tokyo.
The team, which includes JMEA President John Mahfood, Immediate Past President Richard Pandohie, and Executive Director Kamesha Blake, over the next four days will engage with and gain insights from the sponsors and exhibitors as the JMEA prepares to attend Foodex Japan as a full exhibitor in 2024.
Securing an invitation with the help of the Embassy of Jamaica in Tokyo and receiving sponsorship from the Japan Management Association (JMA) to attend the Observation Tour, the JMEA considers this a strategic opportunity as Jamaican exporters seek greater access to the Japanese food and beverage market. As such, the JMEA delegation will look to increase market opportunities for Jamaican products with an initial focus on spices, condiments, and beverages.
The Observation Tour forms part of the 48th staging of the International Food and Beverage Exhibition (Foodex Japan 2023) scheduled for March 7â€“10.
Commending the Embassy of Jamaica in Tokyo for a “tremendous effort” in arranging the visit, Mahfood noted, “Foodex Japan is an interesting expo with over 3,000 exhibitors showcasing thousands of products. It is valuable for businesses in the industry to attend this event and get new ideas, especially when considering new markets. From the JMEA’s perspective, we hope to have several of our members showcasing products at next year’s expo.”
The invitation to Foodex Japan was as a result of a collaboration between the Embassy of Jamaica in Tokyo and Jamaica’s honorary investment adviser (HIA) in Japan Rodney Reid, who continues to actively engage Japanese partners while exploring opportunities for Jamaican exporters. The embassy and HIA have been working closely under the Government of Jamaica’s Economic Diplomacy Programme (EDP) to strengthen links with the Japanese private sector to boost Jamaica’s trade and investment prospects in this region.
According to Jamaica’s Ambassador to Japan Shorna-Kay Richards, “With the launch of the new EDP, a joint initiative between the Jamaican foreign ministry and JAMPRO [Jamaica Promotions Corporation], our embassies have had an increased role in promoting Jamaica’s trade and investment agenda. This is a role that we fully embrace.
She added: “The embassy and HIA are therefore pleased that our engagement with the JMA led to this opportunity for the Jamaican private sector.”
Richards further outlined that since Prime Minister Andrew Holness’s visit to Japan in 2019, there has been a greater push to strengthen economic ties between Jamaica and Japan. With this is mind, she pointed out that the JMEA’s participation in the Observation Tour is another important step to deepen trade relations.
“Japan is a long-standing partner with links to several key sectors in Jamaica, thanks to the coffee, cotton, and motor vehicle trades. We want to expand these links and balance our trading relationship with Japan by creating opportunities for Jamaican exporters,” the ambassador continued.
Welcoming the JMEA’s participation at Foodex Japan, JAMPRO’s Vice-President of Marketing Gabriel Heron said the export marketing and investment promotion agency fully supports the attendance of the JMEA executive team who, “together with the support of the Jamaican Embassy in Tokyo, will unearth the potential export opportunities presented by Foodex Japan. It promises to be a very insightful observatory tour as we focus on getting our private sector into new markets for trade and investment under the EDP initiative.”
To round off the week’s activities, the embassy will be arranging a series of engagements for the JMEA executives with key Japanese government entities, including the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
During those meetings, JICA’s export promotion experts with experience in Latin America and the Caribbean discuss market entry strategies for Japan with the delegation. In addition, the embassy will also host a networking dinner with representatives from the Japanese public and private sector who are involved in various areas of the bilateral agenda between Jamaica and Japan.
Foodex Japan is one of the largest food and beverage exhibitions in Asia. Held every year since 1976, Foodex Japan has been highly regarded as a perfect place to expand business for both exhibitors and visitors.
Source The Jamaica Observer
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