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Schumpeter: Island story

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The war within

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Globalisation may be out of favour. Jamaica provides a surprising example of its value

[T IS EASY to succumb to the romance of Jamaica over dinner with Chris Blackwell in GoldenEye, his boutique hotel in the grounds of Ian Fleming’s Caribbean retreat. Mr Blackwell’s mother was Fleming’s mistress, muse and supposedly the model for Pussy Galore. Mr Blackwell’s record label, Island Records, turned Bob Marley, among many others, into a star. In 1989 he sold Island for £180m ($300m) and bought eight hotels in Miami Beach, which was then run-down. Now he is focusing on his Jamaican properties instead.
There are some reasons to think that Mr Blackwell’s nose for the market has not deserted him. Jamaica has produced a striking number of global superstars (such as Marley and Usain Bolt) and global brands (including Blue Mountain coffee and Jamaican Lion marijuana). The weather is warm, …