Jamaica looks for HK joint ventures

JAMAICA is attempting to woo Hongkong investors into joint ventures across a range of sectors from baby toys, plastics and electronics to tourism and agriculture.

The country's most recent joint venture, the first involving a company from China, was set up by three Hongkong and mainland companies.

Hunan Xiangbei Import and Export Corp, Hongkong Moderntex and Hanseco Sanho Co, a subsidiary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Development Zone Corp, have linked to create garment manufacturer Paragon Jamaica.

While Jamaica's existing joint ventures are broadly restricted to garment manufacturing, recently appointed Jamaican Trade Commissioner Trevor Fearon plans to build up industries with Asian dollars.

He said: ''Agriculture will also benefit from Asian investment and know-how. Many well-established Jamaican firms are eager to find joint venture partners.

''We also want to increase the awareness of companies in the region about the privatisation plans the Jamaican Government is now implementing.'' These include considering tenders for sugar cane plantations.


There are 13 joint ventures with Hongkong companies in Jamaica, all making clothes.

Hongkong investors are able to take advantage of Jamaica's abundant, cheap labour supply to set up garment factories which are no longer economically viable in Hongkong due to the high wages.

The Government is marketing Jamaica as a major tourist centre for Asian holidaymakers, and is encouraging investment in the tourist industry.