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COMMENTARY: "How can Jamaica export more to LATAM?"

'For years the question has been asked, why doesn’t Jamaica export more to Latin America and look to it as a neighbouring trading block?' - OUR TODAY

I wholeheartedly endorse the views expressed in this article. Though, at the outset, it's crucial to acknowledge that Portuguese, the language of Brazil, holds the distinction of being the second most widely spoken language in Latin America, contrary to the misconception that French plays this role. Drawing upon my personal background, my initial foray into the professional world centered on my Latin American energy engineering work, providing me with a unique lived experience and perspective on the region's dynamics.

Furthermore, my active involvement as a major in the group Verde Siempre underscores my commitment to sustainable initiatives in Latin America. In my family, this commitment extends to the next generation. Before pursuing her education at MIT, my first daughter dedicated herself to studying in Mexico, specifically focusing on becoming an Energist and Logistics professional. The groundwork of Mrs. Winifred Silvera's Spanish at St Hugh's, then total immersion in the language in Monterrey empowered her greatly. This demonstrates our family's genuine belief in the potential and opportunities present in the Latin American market. Moreover, I report and applaud the successful efforts of Jamaica's A-QuEST, as well as those of St Joseph Convent of Trinidad, in targeting and mentoring Latin American students, an unusual endeavor that undoubtedly contributes to regional growth and development. Our own Janilee Abrikian, a most resourceful woman, is a product of that kind of thinking.

Given the immense potential for trade and co

llaboration with Latin America, the question posed in the article, "How can Jamaica export more to LATAM?" is both timely and vital. It highlights the need for strategic initiatives and partnerships to bridge the current trade gap. The insights presented by industry leaders and experts during the roundtable dinner, along with today's "Keys to LATAM Conference," are invaluable resources for those genuinely interested in fostering trade relations with the Latin American region.

Here's the thing: I stand firmly in support of the article's perspectives and the collective efforts aimed at enhancing Jamaica's presence and impact in Latin America's dynamic and promising market. Furthermore, I am proud to share that, together with three relatives of mine, A-QuEST has privately initiated a new batch of 8 students, including my two youngest children, to study in Latin America. According to the QS World University's Rankings for 2024, many of the world's top 100 universities are located in the nearby Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries south of the Equator, and they rival institutions in East, South and South-East Asia, Australia, Europe, and even of the USA's best. Latin America is undoubtedly a fully risen academic and research powerhouse, and it's exciting to see our students contributing to and benefiting from this vibrant and culturally rich educational landscape.

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