With the participation of more than 300 people throughout the week, the presence of 60 Dominican companies and 160 Jamaican companies, Dominican Week in Jamaica took place the last week in February 2023 at the AC Kingston Hotel. The event had an impressive agenda that included high-level political meetings, panels and business rounds, and cultural activities. Dominican ambassador in Jamaica Angie Martinez organized the event for the first time.
The Dominican Embassy took advantage of the occasion to establish the Kingston Dominican Chapter of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic, marking a new milestone in the history of bilateral relations. The Dominican Week included a First Business Forum.
Attending the events for Jamaica were Prime Minister Andrew Holness; Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith; Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Aubyn Hill; and Tourism Minister Edmund Barlett.
Traveling to Jamaica for the event from the Dominican Republic was Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs, Ambassador Hugo Rivera and the executive director of ProDominicana, Biviana Riveiro.
Ambassador Angie Martinez described the event as “historic,” since it was the first held in the history of bilateral relations and the first in the entire Caribbean.
During her inaugural speech, the Dominican diplomat said that many things that years ago seemed impossible between our countries, with the support of many people, have been happening. “This very Dominican week is an example of this, years ago it seemed like a utopia,” she said.
A cocktail reception was held at the world famous Devon House, one of Jamaica’s most celebrated and emblematic monuments, which was decked out for a week in the colors of the Dominican flag to commemorate the Dominican independence and the celebration of Dominican Week. Devon House was the residence of Jamaica’s first black multimillionaire, Gorge Stiebel.
Participating in the Dominican Week and First Business Forum activities were:
Biviana Riveiro, executive director of ProDominicana; Ambassador Hugo Rivera, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs of MIREX; David Llibre, president of the National Association of Hotels and Tourism; Paola Rainieri, vice president of Institutional Relations of Grupo Punta Cana; Enrique de Marchena, partner of DMK Abogados and honorary consul of Jamaica in Puerto Plata; Dennis Valdez, general manager of Newport-FERSAN Jamaica; Juan José Melo, country head of JMMB Group Dominican Republic and president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce in the DR; Antonio Ramos, executive vice president of the Chamber of Commerce of Santo Domingo; Arlette Palacio, producer of Foro Caribe Naranja and Director of Club Innovación RD; Andrés Bisonó, co-founder & C.E.O. of SOS Carbon; Taiana Mora, president of the Latin American Association of Service Exporters; among others.
Among the Jamaican panelists were Metry Seaga, president of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica; Paul B. Scott, president of the PBS Group; and Paul B. Scott, president of the PBS Group. Scott, chairman of PBS Group and Musson Group of Companies; Jeffry Hall, CEO of Jamaica Producers; Julian Mair, chairman of the Jamaica Stock Exchange; Shullette Cox, president of JAMPRO; Marlene Street Forrest, managing director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange; Imega Breese, executive director of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica; Berisford Grey, president of the Caribbean Alternative Investment Association; Keith Collister, director of Special Projects of the Sandals Group, among others.
A gala concert with Dominican violinist Aisha Syed was part of the cultural program for the event. The Dominican violinist was accompanied on the piano by the famous Jamaican pianist, Roger William, Vice President of the prestigious Edna Manley School of the Arts.
In collaboration with the Film Agency of the Dominican Republic (DGCINE), the award-winning feature film COCOTE, by young filmmaker Nelson Carlo de los Santos, was screened to a full house. The filmmaker traveled to Kingston to share film insights with the audience, who were very interested in this Dominican work that has been widely awarded at international film festivals and acclaimed by film critics from all over the world.
The exhibition “El Mundo al Revés: Fotografías del Carnaval Dominicano,” curated by Dominican sociologist and folklorist, Dagoberto Tejada was presented thanks to sponsorship of the Banreservas Cultural Center. The carnival-related exhibition is on display to the public for two months at the prestigious National Gallery of Jamaica.
Dozens of artisans from the Dirección de Fomento y Desarrollo de la Artesanía Nacional (FODEARTE) traveled to Kingston under the coordination of its Director General, Ramón Guillén, to inaugurate a permanent exhibition of Dominican handicrafts at the headquarters of the Dominican Embassy in Kingston. Also, in conjunction with the Embassy, they exhibited at the JAMPRO headquarters the handicraft exhibition “Raíces de mi Tierra” (Roots of my Land).
The Dominican Embassy organized an interesting evening at the 22 Jerk Cultural Center, in which the musicians of the musical group “La Banda” performed an unprecedented musical fusion, where to the rhythm of merengue, bachata and reggae they played and interpreted together with Jamaican musicians the iconic Bob Marley songs, such as “Buffalo Soldier”, “I Wanna Love You”, among others.
“Celebrating the Dominican Republic” was the name of the event organized by the Dominican Embassy in Kingston in collaboration with the famous Jamaican bar “Jamaica Food & Drink Kitchen”, where those present celebrated the Dominican Republic enjoying its rums, typical dishes and good music.
To conclude the cultural agenda, the embassy organized an all-Dominican night at the famous Jamaican nightclub Holly Smoke. The activity was called “Dominican Night: Merengue, Bachata, Reguetón and Denbow.” The diplomatic community accredited on the island, several hundred Jamaicans and people of various nationalities followed the merengue, bachata, reggaeton and Denbow classes organized for the occasion and danced until well into the early hours of the morning to close the Dominican Week in Jamaica with a big party.
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14 March 2023