The world's best performing Stock Market for 2018, the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), marked its 50th Anniversary of operations on Sunday, February 3rd with a thanksgiving service at the East Queen Street Baptist Church, and which kick-starts its twelve months of celebration and market education activities.
On Thursday, February 7th the JSE held its first event dubbed 'Market Meets the Market by the Sea.' This unique concept seeks to bridge the gap between the Farmers' Market and the Stock Market and related services.
The Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon. Audley Shaw, was the keynote speaker. Minister Shaw in his address was very pleased with the innovative concept by the JSE. He informed the large crowd that his Ministry will be focusing on four key groups to promote and increase local agriculture. He noted that hotels needed to be more supportive to local farmers while; the schools' children must eat more of what we grow. He next highlighted CARICOM for its larger market and the Diaspora, because of the demands overseas for locally produced goods. In closing, he thanked the JSE for their continued innovation and financial inclusion for all Jamaicans.
As a key sponsor of the event, Miss Antoinette McKain, CEO Jamaica Depository Corporation commended the Exchange on its journey and applauded the Exchange's creativity in having an event which was timely and inclusive.
Mr. Steven Gooden, CEO NCB Capital Markets and President of the Jamaica Security Dealers Association, spoke about the impact of Junior Market on the growth of the capital market. He asked Minister Shaw, whose influence kept the Junior Market incentives alive, to do so again by encouraging the establishment of the Micro Market so that the agricultural and other similar sectors would benefit from accessing finance to grow.
Mrs. Grace Burnett, CEO, GraceKennedy Financial Group Limited (GKFG), also congratulated the JSE and sponsors for this novel concept. She also stated that this kind of collaboration was very good for the development of Jamaica. She noted that the GraceKennedy Group would work with organizations that are doing good for Jamaica and to help underserved communities.
The JSE's Chairman, Mr. Ian McNaughton, in his brief remarks, applauded the JSE's management and staff for continuing to reinvent, innovate and add to shareholders' value, through creativity and foresight.
Mrs. Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of the JSE, in her welcome was very excited with the support from the twenty (20) farmers who represented seven (7) parishes across the island and the patrons who started as early as 6:00 a.m., with the number growing throughout the morning. Mrs. Street Forrest noted that the main focus for the 50th Anniversary is financial inclusion and therefore this concept of Market Meets the Market was a perfect start, 'Just imagine, stock exchange and agriculture joining together as two powerful engines of growth'.
She thanked the companies that answered the call to partner with the Exchange and the patrons who responded to the call to make the event a success with approximately 2,000 patrons who attended throughout the day.