Jamaican News

Diaspora Encouraged to Take Full Advantage of Local Business Opportunities

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is encouraging the Jamaican Diaspora to increase its involvement in the business prospects of Jamaica as a means of strengthening its relationship with the country.

He noted that there are business opportunities in logistics, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), nutraceuticals and agriculture.

These and other possible areas for engagement are to be highlighted during a special growth forum to be held as part of the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference, which kicked off with an opening ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on July 23.

“I implore the Diaspora to take full advantage of the opportunities that will be presented at the Diaspora conference, so that there will be concrete plans and opportunities for future engagement,” he said at the ceremony.

To facilitate increased involvement, the Prime Minister said one of the Government’s principal objectives is to make it easier for prospective investors, including the Diaspora, to conduct business in and with Jamaica.

“Our aim is to streamline the work of critical agencies and procedures to avoid duplication, thereby creating a more favourable business environment,” he noted.

The Prime Minister stressed that the Government is serious about strengthening the relationship between the Diaspora and Jamaica in every aspect, adding that the conference provides a “springboard” to facilitate this.

“This Administration pledges to continue facilitating…your involvement in every facet of the country’s socio-economic development. We are pleased to see that the engagement process has evolved over the 13 years of philanthropy to one where the Diaspora is now fully on board,” he said.

Mr. Holness said the country appreciates the significant contributions the Diaspora continues to make to communities, schools and health facilities across the island.

“The Government is cognisant of the fact that you, our Diaspora members, are amongst our best assets – sharing your skills, creativity and boundless ingenuity – and we must use this to our nation’s benefit,” he said.

In her remarks, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said the Ministry intends to pursue synergistic partnerships with the Diaspora to lay the foundations for a prosperous Jamaica.

“The Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference presents a platform for us to move strategically into a new era of Diaspora-Homeland partnership. Let us seize this opportunity to re-energise and re-engineer new partnerships for growth, as captured in this year’s theme,” she said.

For her part, Diaspora Advisory Board Member, Tanesha Westcarr, who brought greetings on behalf of the Diaspora, commended the Government, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, for the priority placed on strengthening engagement with the Diaspora.

“Through our partnership for growth and collaboration on various projects, we can move forward to strengthen the bond between Jamaica and the Diaspora,” she said.

She added that the conference is a key avenue to directly harness the power of the Diaspora.

The three-day conference is being held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, under the theme: ‘Partnership for Growth’.

The conference, which is convened every two years by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, is an important platform in Jamaica’s strategic effort to meaningfully engage with

Jamaicans around the world. The event brings together Diaspora business interests, philanthropic groups, and young people of Jamaican descent and Jamaicans at home.

Among those in attendance were: Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, and Lady Allen; Leader of the Opposition, Peter Phillips; Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange; Former Governor-General, Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, and Lady Hall; Chief Justice, Zaila McCalla, and members of the Diplomatic Corps.



Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson

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