Using this year’s success of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association Expo as a benchmark, deputy president of the association Richard Pandohie, is predicting that next year’s event will be even bigger.
The 2018 expo that was in its third day on Saturday, saw record numbers in participation and patrons.
“The first two days were dedicated to buyers and we had a record number of buyers coming in from 30-odd countries,” Pandohie told Jamaica Today Saturday.
“They were very impressed with the set up and the level of innovations on display, and there are companies cutting deals. A lot of consumers have said to me that they can’t believe all of this is happening in Jamaica, and I am personally impressed with the small and emerging businesses. That is the engine for growth in Jamaica and they have done a fantastic job here.”
Highlighting that the expectations of the organizing committee had been exceeded, the JMA deputy president said he is expecting the 2019 version to be even bigger.
“I expect the next Expo to be humongous. I am looking at the car park to be full from 1 pm in the day each day. I was saying to Minister Audley Shaw that we might need a convention center, because this thing will explode,” said an excited Pandohie while speaking with Jamaica Today.
On the expo’s opening day last Thursday, the JMA and the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA) announced that the two were merging and Pandohie, who is also the chief executive officer of the Seprod Group, said the merger has had a positive impact.
“Eighty per cent of booths for the next two years have been booked already and I think it is because of the merger we have had,” he said.
“It is going to be mutual benefits; before it was two separate organizations with duplication of thoughts and efforts and just logistically more difficulties for manufacturers. Now as one entity, it will be bigger and better with more resources available which will be reflected in everything that we do.”
Over 30,000 people are expected to attend and Pandohie believes it provides a great platform for owners of small businesses to capitalize on.
The four-day exposition was staged at the National Arena and the neighboring National Indoors Sports Centre at the Independence Park Complex in Kingston, from April 19-22.