Economy December 17, 2023 | 9:03 am

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Dominican Embassy in Jamaica holds First Tobacco and Rum Business Forum

Kingston, Jamaica—The Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Jamaica marked a significant milestone with the First Cigar and Rum Business Forum Dominican Republic -Jamaica, an innovation in commercial diplomacy that provided an unprecedented platform for the benefit of this sector of the national economy, allowing Dominican companies to connect with influential importers and distributors in Jamaica, as well as with businesses in crucial sectors such as tourism, offering considerable business potential in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

The Business Forum took place at Kingston’s AC Hotel, the most modern hotel in the city, and welcomed over one hundred visitors, serving as the setting for dozens of B2B meetings between Dominican companies in the rum and tobacco sector and Jamaican companies involved in the trade of these products.

During the event’s inauguration, Ambassador Angie Martinez highlighted that “this first Tobacco and Rum Business Forum is a testament to the Dominican Republic’s commitment to fostering economic and commercial ties between both countries and exploring new prospects for collaboration with Jamaica. This event provides a unique platform to strengthen commercial ties, explore new business opportunities and foster the exchange of these iconic products within the economy of both countries.”

The forum’s formal program included several presentations, panels, and a discussion between Ambassador Angie Martinez and the president of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA), Mr. Sydney Thwaites, in which both discussed with the audience the future of the tobacco and rum industries in both countries, from the point of view of exports and bilateral trade.

Daniel Beltré Acosta, the Embassy’s economic and commercial affairs officer, gave a presentation on the historical and financial aspects of the Dominican Republic’s tobacco and rum industries. In addition, two representatives of the invited companies shared ideas with the audience. Jack Astacio, president of J&J SPIRITS, made a presentation on Dominican rum and gave a testimony on the creation of his successful rum production company, including Legado el Caballo Mayor, New Dominican Rhum, Mamajuana Kalembú, among others. Other Dominican companies from the rum sector were also present at the Business Forum, such as ISIDRO BORDAS, BRUGAL, OLIVER & OLIVER, and BARCELÓ.

Representing the Dominican tobacco industry, Mr. Rafael Domínguez, President of Victor Sinclair Tabacalera, spoke, offering some reflections on the tobacco industry and inviting those present to explore the business opportunities provided by the Dominican industry.

Mr. Daniel Blanco, Finance Director of Tabacalera Palma, together with Mr. Félix Rodríguez, sales executive of the company, participated in the business forum and during the Gala held on Friday night, exhibiting a large part of the company’s premium cigar catalog, especially the prestigious La Galera brand. It is worth mentioning the presence of the Southern Tobacco Growers Association, an industry association represented by Mr. Hancer Feliz, who exhibited his company’s brand, HF Cigars. Other cigar brands on display were Américo Cigars and Bohemio Cigars. Following the forum’s formal program, the Embassy organized dozens of business meetings between participating Dominican and Jamaican companies.

The Dominican Ambassador in Kingston, Angie Martinez, thanked the official sponsors of the event for their support, namely DOMICEM (ANCHOR CEMENT), HOTEL AC KINGSTON, PEPSI JAMAICA, SANDALS INTERNATIONAL RESORTS, JMMB, THERRESTRA, ICGA-COBIAN, among others. She also thanked the support provided by the Tobacco Institute of the Dominican Republic (INTABACO), which facilitated an exhibition on the craftsmanship of our national tobacco industry.

During the evening, more than 400 people gathered at the Official Residence of the Dominican Republic in Kingston, in whose gardens the Embassy held the “Tobacco and Rum” Gala, one of the most emblematic events organized by this diplomatic Mission, aimed at promoting the rum and tobacco industry of the Dominican Republic in this Caribbean country.

Both events showcased Dominican rum and tobacco’s rich cultural and economic contributions and laid the groundwork for future partnerships and strategic alliances between the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.

The Business Forum and the Tobacco and Rum Gala are part of the series of activities organized by the Embassy to commemorate the 59th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.

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