Jamaica Strengthens Economic Ties with Courtesy Visit to Japanese Ambassador Ahead of FOODEX Japan

The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) took a significant step towards enhancing economic cooperation and bilateral trade between Jamaica and Japan with a courtesy visit to His Excellency Yasuhiro Atsumi, Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica. This visit sets the stage for FOODEX Japan 2024, Asia’s largest food trade show scheduled for March 5-8, 2024.

During the visit, discussions focused on identifying export opportunities, emphasising high-quality Jamaican products. The conversations revealed a strong demand in Japan for Jamaican products such as coffee, rums, spirits, seasonings, and condiments. Consideration was also given to non-food products with potential success in the Japanese market.

Sydney Thwaites, President of the JMEA, emphasized the strategic significance of FOODEX Japan, stating, “FOODEX Japan serves as an invaluable platform for our members to showcase their products and explore new business prospects in the Asian market. As Jamaica and Japan celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relationship, these initiatives underscore the commitment to building enduring economic and cultural bridges between the two nations, with both countries always aiming to treat each other as equals and seek win-win cooperation.”

In collaboration with Ambassador Shorna-Kay Richards, Jamaica Ambassador to Japan, the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC), and the Jamaica Promotion Corporation (JAMPRO), the JMEA will lead the execution of a National Pavilion, “Taste of Jamaica” featuring four local companies: Seprod Ltd, Jamaican Teas Ltd, Associated Manufacturers Ltd (Walkerswood), and Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Ltd.

Organized by the Japan Manufacturers Association (JMA), the three-day trade show will take place at the Tokyo Big Sight Convention Center. FOODEX Japan, the largest annual food trade show in Asia, attracts over 70,000 visitors, including supermarkets, hypermarkets, wholesalers, grocery stores, food service and hospitality, fast-food chains, convenience stores, distributors, importers, and agents & brokers. The event hosts more than 2,500 exhibitors from 70 countries.

Looking ahead to FOODEX Japan, Kamesha Blake, Executive Director of the JMEA, highlighted the trade show’s significance, “This event is a gateway to the Japanese and Asian food markets, offering an excellent opportunity for Jamaica to capitalize on cultural connections, expanding market reach even in areas such as tourism and sports.”

This will be Jamaica’s second participation in FOODEX Japan, with the first being in 2001 when JAMPRO led a group including coffee producers Salada Foods, Jamaica Coffee Company, Coffee Industries, Jamaica Standard Products, jerk sauce producers Suntrax Enterprises, and Grace Kennedy Ltd. Since then, Jamaica has reaped substantial rewards, with Japan becoming the top market for Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.


About JMEA

The Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Association (JMEA) is Jamaica’s leading industry association, serving as the voice of exporters, manufacturers, service providers, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). We provide vital support to our members and the industry through advocacy, strategic partnerships, export services, research, capacity building, and access to finance. Our aim is to contribute to the growth and sustainability of Jamaican businesses and the economy.



For more information, please contact:

Shanique Gordon, Marketing, PR & Events Manager

Email: shanique@jmea.org | Phone:876-817-5638