Jamaica has sought to showcase its offering to the world during national day celebrations at Expo 2020 in Dubai.
A high-level delegation, headed by senator Kamina Johnson Smith, minister of foreign affairs and trade, joined the event.
Also on hand were Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism for Jamaica – who yesterday launched the new Global Tourism Resilience Day in Dubai – and Donovan White, director of tourism with the Jamaica Tourist Board.
Ambassador Alison Stone Roofe, under-secretary for multilateral affairs, and JAMPRO president, Diane Edwards, completed the group.
Addressing crowds at Expo 2020, Johnson Smith said: “I am honoured to be here this morning representing the proud, industrious people of Jamaica in, this, the first World Expo to be held in the region.
“Expo 2020 Dubai is indeed the best the world has seen.
“The event provides an excellent opportunity to bring ‘brand Jamaica’ to Dubai and, indeed, to the world.
“For us, it is a welcome coincidence that Jamaica is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary of independence this year.
“I wish to extend my deep appreciation to the people of the United Arab Emirates for the warm welcome, and kind hospitality, that has been afforded to my delegation.”
She added: “May I also express deep appreciation for the extensive support that has facilitated our full participation in the activities surrounding Expo 2020 Dubai.
“With all the work involved, we have the distinction of being ranked among the ‘coolest’ pavilions; from curation to creation, to daily operation, the United Arab Emirates has been with us, walking side-by-side and hand-in-hand.
“This has allowed the team to make the best of opportunities for business-to-business, business-to-government and government-to-government, as well as people-to-people, connections.
“We are connecting minds and creating the future.”
The delegation presented information on the Jamaican participation at Expo 2020.
The country’s pavilion, which has so far attracted over 100,000 guests, depicts history, culture, sports, music, business opportunities, cuisine and tourism.
Johnson Smith continued: “I wish to take a moment to congratulation the United Arab Emirates on the creation of this state-of-the-art facility, embedded with opportunity and sustainability at its very core.
“It is evident that this event was expertly conceptualised and, not withstanding the pandemic, is being strategically executed, with a view to sustaining its benefits well beyond its six-month run time.
“We came here to Expo with the express aim of deepening the strong ties and enduring bilateral relationship with the United Arab Emirates.
“We are building on dynamic cultural exchanges, exploring and realising new investment, trade and tourism opportunities, and, of course, enhancing engagement with our growing diaspora in the Middle East.”
Jamaica has taken the initiative, along with other prominent countries, announcing the launch of the Global Tourism Resilience Day.
The initiative will bring much-awaited focus to tourism preparedness, crisis management and recovery.
Johnson Smith concluded: “In keeping with our participation in Expo 2020, I would like to share some areas of interest to Jamaica.
“We are well-known for out beautiful beaches, inspiring music and delicious food, as well as our kind and inviting people – we have made an indelible mark, far beyond our size, on the global community.
“In areas such as sports, music, academia and diplomacy, we excel.
“Jamaica has, however, been working diligently to create a niche and hold our own on the world stage in business, commerce and sustainable development.
“We seek to increase exposure to Jamaica as a destination of choice, focusing attention on increasing airlift emerging from this region.
“Through the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority, we are pleased to have been selected to host the next AICE Global Free Zones Conference in June this year in Montego Bay.
“The event will foster economic growth and job creation through free zones – and as we are all focused on recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, I hope all participating countries here in Dubai will attend the AICE show.
“Jamaica has proven to be a prime location for long-term investments, with a large maritime space, we are geographically and strategically located on the main international trade routes between North and South America.
“Logistically, we are connected to Dubai, Singapore and Rotterdam – the opportunities practically present themselves.”
Find out more about the Jamaica pavilion at Expo 2020 on the official website, or take a look at some images from the flag raising ceremony here.