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The value of doing business with Africa

 

posted by Focused on February 24, 2010 @ 6:34 pm in BUSINESS

 

 

As a businessperson, seeking new opportunities to develop one’s business is a way of life. Seeking new trade partners and markets to do business in can only help one’s economic growth. What applies to a company also applies to a country, in this case Jamaica. For far too long, Jamaica has been missing out on a valuable market : Africa and its 53 different economies.

 

While on its quest to grow its economy, Jamaica has focused on strengthening its economic ties with it biggest trading partners. Traditionally, these have mainly consisted of the United States, Western European countries (such as the UK) and Canada. In recent times, Jamaica has increased its trade with China. While seeking more business opportunities with China is the global trend today, Jamaica should also turn its attention towards strengthening its economic ties with Africa.

 

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s 2008 World Investment Report, Africa had the highest returns on investment of all developing regions in 2007. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Africa’s annual growth for 2004-2008 was above 6%, better than any developed country (find out more here). Needless to say, the continent of Africa is a place where big business has and will continue to take place. Anybody who means business is there or plans to go there. Does Jamaica mean business ?

 

Jamaica’s links to Africa have always been mentioned in a cultural context but the similarities between the two regions are less mentioned when people discuss the topic of economics. As is the case with many African countries, Jamaica has a strong entrepreneurial culture. From the street vendor to the company CEO, the quintessential “do it yourself” mentality that characterizes entrepreneurs permeates society. Globalization is often mentioned in a negative light but Jamaica and Africa can use globalization to their advantage.

 

By doing more business with each other, Caribbean and African countries will strengthen their economies as they will diversify their trade partners. Having the widest variety of trade partners is a way of ensuring that a country truly becomes independent economically.

 

The following video is a commercial for product offered by West African conglomerate Nàsuba. It stars Jamaican track & field superstar Usain Bolt. It is a glimpse into what more collaboration between Jamaican and African businesses/governments could lead to. Look at the video carefully.

 

 

Usain Bolt, a Jamaican ‘product’, gets to develop his brand on a stage provided by an African product, Nàsuba. Nàsuba gets to enhance its band on a global scale thanks to Usain Bolt. Everybody wins. What are your thoughts?

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Tags : Jamaica, Africa, business, trade, globalization, Usain Bolt, Nàsuba,
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Comments

Comment by Focused on June 8, 2010 @ 3:29 am
@jimbilin. I agree, Africa is full of resources. The business opportunities there are endless.

 

Comment by jimbilin on June 6, 2010 @ 3:11 pm
A vast untapped resource for Jamaican entrepreneurs. Guys, we have to look beyond appearances and not look at Africa as a desperate, poverty-stricken continent. There are vast business opportunities there. And think of the huge advantage we have as a nation with strong cultural ties to Africa,

 

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