Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, her Excellency Audrey Marks, is urging the Jamaican Diaspora to take full advantage of the myriad of investment opportunities now available in Jamaica.
“Others around the world are having tremendous success with their investments in Jamaica. It is now time to formalize an investment pipeline with you, our own Diaspora, especially as we seek to empower Jamaicans at home and abroad as a part of the commonwealth of Jamaica,” she said.
Ambassador Marks was delivering the keynote address at the new Jersey-based Help Jamaica Medical Mission’s 6th Annual Black Tie affair at Hanover manor in East Hanover, New Jersey on Saturday, November 12, 2016
Ambassador Marks pointed to the lucrative investment opportunities in medical tourism, the nutraceutical industry and in particular medical marijuana. “These are just a few of the investment opportunities available for members of the diaspora”.
Ambassador Marks told the over 500 Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica in attendance that medical tourism is a billion dollar business. In 2014, medical tourism estimated to be valued at US$59 billion with an estimated 10 million people traveling for medical treatment. Of that amount, 1.2 million are US citizens.
“Jamaica is ideally situated to serve both insured and uninsured markets. Tourists and outpatients prefer to be in more temperate climate as they recuperate,” the ambassador said.
She added that .the Ministry of Tourism and Jamaica Promotions Company (JAMPRO) have been leading the initiative to attract investors to medical tourism in Jamaica.
The private sector in Jamaica have excess capacity to meet the growing demand, but they need partners and “so I urge you members of the Diaspora, as well as those friends of Jamaica here who are involved in the medical field, to look at investing in medical tourism in Jamaica.”
She said areas of primary focus at this time are: surgical procedures, dentistry and medical diagnostics. She added that there are also areas of collaboration with private doctors in Jamaica looking for counterparts in the United States to refer their clients for certain follow up treatments.
Turning to the medical marijuana industry, Ambassador Marks said this will certainly boost Jamaica’s economy. In 2013, she said, the
medical marijuana market was valued at US$2.5 billion, with an expectation that by 2019, it will reach US$11 billion.
The ambassador pointed out that in order for the industry to develop properly in Jamaica, with the appropriate infrastructure and mechanism to meet national and international standards, the government has established the Cannabis Licensing Authority, which is working in tandem with relevant ministries and legal departments to make sure that all standards are met.
“In this regards, persons who wish to invest or participate in this program, will be required to apply for the requisite license or permit through the Canabis Licensing Authority.”
She said overseas investors have been eagerly knocking at the door to get into this lucrative industry.
“This is a opportunity for potential investors here in the diaspora who can, among other things, partner with small farmers who have lands available but no financial resources to apply for the requisite license or permit needed to participate in this program.