(KINGSTON August 3, 2017): Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) on July 26, 2017, held its first Closing Bell Ringing Ceremony at the JSE during the Jamaica 55 Diaspora 2017 Conference. The Closing Bell was rang by Mr. Lloyd Wilks, Consul General for Jamaica in Toronto. Also present were Mayor Wayne Messam of the City of Miramar, Broward County Florida, Miami, Attorney-at-law, Marlon Hill and over fifty other representatives from the diaspora, local attendees included, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Public Service, Mrs. Fayval Williams MP.
The 7th Biennial Diaspora Conference under the theme “Partnership for Growth”, provided an ideal platform for the JSE to invite and host delegates to the Conference that was been held at the Conference Centre Downtown Kingston to share in this historic event. Over fifty delegates from United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom visited the JSE’s offices, all for the first time to be a part of the Bell Ringing Ceremony.
Mrs. Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of the JSE was very delighted to welcome the group to Exchange and in her remarks, she highlighted that “next year will mark our fiftieth year since the Exchange was incorporated. This makes the Exchange five years younger than our country as an independent nation and says so much about the foresight of our people in establishing such an important institution, so early in its development, with its principal mandate, that of mobilizing capital to facilitate the growth and development of companies and by extension, the economy. She went on to state that, “our mission is inclusive; in other words, as our partners in the diaspora, our aim is to work with you through the avenue of investments to accomplish prosperity, both at the levels of the individual and the country.”
Mr. Marlon Hill, a former Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board Member for the Southern United States spoke on behalf of the delegates. In his address, he stated that “This historic occasion is a testament to our Jamaican diaspora stories worldwide and offers an opportunity for us to make a meaningful contribution to Jamaica’s national development and to simultaneously build wealth for our families. We have a choice of where to put our personal wealth, either on Wall Street or Harbour Street.”
Mayor Messam, who also spoke at the event announced the recent collaboration with the City of Miramar and Kingston as sister cities. He stated that business growth of these two cities is a center piece of this developing relationship. He further noted that this historic event captures the essence of Jamaica’s entrepreneurial spirit and our mark on the business world.
Jamaica’s Consul General to Canada, Lloyd Wilks, in his remarks encouraged those attending to ensure that they invest in a slice of Jamaica. He emphasized that the time is right and the time is now and that the JSE and the Brokers are ready. His final words implored those present to encourage friends and family to invest in the Jamaican Stock Market.
The Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Public Service, Mrs. Fayval Williams MP, brought greetings on behalf of the Government. She encouraged Diasporans to invest and advised them that she piloted the Bill in Parliament to ensure that the Junior Market Incentives can now only be changed by an Act of Parliament. This she says is another milestone for the Exchange and serves to improve confidence in the Market.
Mr. Wilks rang the bell at 1:00 p.m. to officially signal the close of the Market. This was met with applause from the delegates. The delegates were provided with the JSE’s 40 Historic Facts Booklet.