TOKYO, JAPAN – 07 MARCH 2023: A three-member delegation from the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) has arrived in Japan to participate in the FOODEX JAPAN 2023 Observation Tour—a strategic opportunity as Jamaican exporters seek greater access to the Japanese food and beverage market.
In welcoming the JMEA’s participation, JAMPRO’s VP of Marketing Gabriel Heron added that: “JAMPRO fully supports the participation of John Mahfood and his team who, together with the support of the Jamaican Embassy in Tokyo, will unearth the potential export opportunities presented by FOODEX JAPAN. It promises to be a very insightful observatory tour as we focus on getting our private sector into new markets for trade and investment under the EDP initiative.”
To round off the week’s activities, the Embassy will be arranging a series of engagements for the JMEA executives with key Japanese government entities, including the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The Agency’s export promotion experts with experience in Latin American and the Caribbean will meet with the delegation to discuss market entry strategies for Japan. The Embassy will also host a networking dinner with representatives from the Japanese public and private sectors who are involved in various areas of the bilateral agenda between Jamaica and Japan.
The invitation to FOODEX JAPAN comes as the Embassy of Jamaica in Tokyo continues to actively engage Japanese partners together with Rodney Reid, Jamaica’s Honorary Investment Adviser (HIA) in Japan, to explore opportunities for Jamaican exporters. The Embassy and HIA have been working closely under the Government of Jamaica’s Economic Diplomacy Programme (EDP) to strengthen links with the Japanese private sector to boost Jamaica’s trade and investment prospects in this region.
Photograph of the Jamaican delegation to the FOODEX JAPAN 2023 Observation Tour.

Over the next 4 days, the delegation comprising John Mahfood (President), Richard Pandohie (Immediate Past President) and Mrs. Kamesha Blake (Executive Director) will engage with and gain insights from the sponsors and exhibitors as the JMEA prepares to attend FOODEX JAPAN as a full exhibitor in 2024. The JMEA will seek to increase market opportunities for Jamaican products with an initial focus on spices, condiments and beverages.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to Japan, Shorna-Kay Richards, shared that: “With the launch of the new EDP, a joint initiative between the Jamaican Foreign Ministry and JAMPRO, our embassies have had an increased role in promoting Jamaica’s trade and investment agenda. This is a role that we fully embrace. The Embassy and HIA are therefore pleased that our engagement with the JMA led to this opportunity for the Jamaican private sector.”
The Embassy of Jamaica in Tokyo secured the invitation and sponsorship from the Japan Management Association (JMA) for the delegation to attend the Observation Tour, as part of the 48th staging of the International Food and Beverage Exhibition (FOODEX JAPAN 2023) scheduled for March 07–10.
“Since Prime Minister Holness visited Japan in 2019, there has been a greater push to strengthen economic ties between Jamaica and Japan. The JMEA’s participation in the Observation Tour is another important step in these efforts. Japan is a longstanding partner with links to several key sectors in Jamaica thanks to the coffee, cotton and motor vehicle trades. We want to expand these links and balance our trading relationship with Japan by creating opportunities for Jamaican exporters.”
FOODEX JAPAN is one of the largest food and beverage exhibitions in Asia. Held every year since 1976, FOODEX JAPAN has been highly regarded as a perfect place to expand business for both exhibitors and visitors.
Mr. Taro KOMIYA, Senior Managing Director at the Japan Management Association; Mrs. Kamesha BLAKE, Executive Director at the JMEA; Mr. John MAHFOOD, President of the JMEA; Her Excellency Shorna-Kay RICHARDS, Ambassador of Jamaica to Japan; Mr. Masami NAKAMURA, Chairman of the Board of the Japan Management Association and Mr. Richard PANDOHIE, CEO of Seprod Group of Companies.
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