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Jamaica aims to deepen ties with Japan, which remains the largest market for its coffee

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Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon Audley Shaw (centre), in discussion with Ambassador designate to Japan, Shorna-Kay Richards (2nd right), during a courtesy call at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. Others (from left) are Chief Technical Director ( Industry and Commerce Portfolio) in the Ministry, Michelle Parkins; Permanent Secretary Dermon Spence; and Chief Technical Director (Agriculture and Fisheries Portfolio) - Credits: Government of Jamaica – Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries of Jamaica, the Honourable Audley Shaw, has recently met with ambassador designate to Japan, Shorna-Kay Richards to discuss strengthening and leveraging Jamaica’s bilateral ties with Japan and other Asian countries, reports the ministry in a statement.

The meeting, held at the Ministry’s St. Lucia Avenue offices, saw discussions surrounding the deepening of the traditional Japanese appetite for Jamaican coffee while expanding the foothold for other Jamaican products in the east.

To date, Japan remains Jamaica’s largest market for coffee export.

Ambassador Richards, while noting other key areas of focus aimed at growing Jamaica’ s footprint in the Asian region, further noted her intent to build cooperation in other areas such as trade, technology, nutraceuticals and medical tourism.

Jamaica and Japan enjoy a long history of cooperation. Last October, Jamaican coffee farmers were gifted with 50,000 Arabica Typica coffee seedlings under a US$90,000 initiative between the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) and the Japanese Government through the Japanese Embassy.

The project sought to increase the production of the Typica variety, a variety of coffee that the world has come to recognise as unmistakably Jamaican.

Speaking at the meeting, MICAF’s permanent secretary, Dermon Spence noted the building of inward support for Jamaica’s Blue Economy, an area of significant economic opportunities, as another area of focus.

Ambassador Richards will take up her deployment later this year.