Jamaica Observer / MANDEVILLE, Manchester – President of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Garfield Green says he is satisfied with last Wednesday’s Conference and Expo hosted by the chamber in collaboration with Diaspora Connect at Golf View Hotel. “It was a success,” Green told the Jamaica Observer Central by telephone on Saturday. “All the feedback we have gotten has been very positive,” he added.

Green said organisers were actually surprised by the size of the turnout at the event which carried the theme ‘International Trade and Sustainable Development — Manchester Ready to Welcome the World’.

“We catered for 150 persons but over 500 persons turned up,” he said.

Green said a primary aim of the conference and exposition was to “showcase (to potential investors, clients, customers and business partners) what’s available in Manchester and how ready we are for the world market”.

At the opening session of the conference, Green told those in the audience that his organisation was keen to encourage a “model of partnership” for high economic growth in the parish.

Guest speaker at the conference, executive director of the Economic Growth Council, Senator Aubyn Hill called for greater linkages between hotels and farmers to boost economic growth. Hill also spoke of the urgent need for Jamaica to come to terms with the use of billions of dollars in pension and insurance funds to enhance earnings and generate growth.

Speakers from the diplomatic community were led by Laurie Peters, Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica.

An information, advice and guidance workshop for local commercial operators was led by Rudi Page, CEO of the networking company, Making Connections Work.

There were 30 exhibitors with strong focus on a range of sectors including tourism and hospitality, services, agribusiness, foods, services, health and wellbeing, safety and security.

The Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the Manchester Municipal Corporation also used the opportunity to sign a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of a business support centre on property owned by the municipality.

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