Gov’t Woos Diaspora Investment

Photo: Dave Reid Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz (right), and Economic Growth Council Chairman, Michael Lee-Chin (left), have a light moment as they exchange greetings before Tuesday’s (July 25) start of the Jamaica 55 Diaspora growth forum at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston. Looking on is Conference Chairman, Earl Jarrett. The biennial conference is being held from July 23 to 26 under the theme: ‘Partnering for Growth’.

Story Highlights

  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, is urging greater Diaspora participation in a wide range of activities that will support the Government’s drive to boost Jamaica’s growth and development.
  • Mr. Vaz told the delegates that the Government has identified strategic investment projects that would position Jamaica on the path to growth through job creation, among other things. These, he noted, included: logistics hub initiatives; agro-parks; business process outsourcing (BPO); tourism diversification, inclusive of ecotourism, health and wellness and medical tourism; the creative industries; energy diversification; and international financial services.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, is urging greater Diaspora participation in a wide range of activities that will support the Government’s drive to boost Jamaica’s growth and development.

He said while the Administration acknowledges the importance of inputs such as remittances in supporting families and friends “we believe that your group should have a greater role in investing in economic business opportunities, which would reduce the dependence on (remittances) by creating well-needed employment.”

“There is still far more that we can do as we all work together to fulfil our growth and job creation agenda as well as our Vision 2030 mission of making Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business,” he noted.

Minister Vaz was speaking at the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference’s growth forum at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on Tuesday, July 25.

Mr. Vaz told the delegates that the Government has identified strategic investment projects that would position Jamaica on the path to growth through job creation, among other things.

These, he noted, included: logistics hub initiatives; agro-parks; business process outsourcing (BPO); tourism diversification, inclusive of ecotourism, health and wellness and medical tourism; the creative industries; energy diversification; and international financial services.

He said that this in addition to priorities outlined under the Government’s National Export Strategy in areas such as agro-processing; food and beverage; aquaculture; coffee; education; entertainment; information and communications technology (ICT); fashion; and materials and mining.

Mr. Vaz also has cited the proposed Downtown Kingston Redevelopment Project as a potentially game-changing undertaking that would appeal to Diaspora members.

Noting that the project is the first of its kind “certainly in the Caribbean”, Mr. Vaz said a “novel” approach was being taken to its implementation for the social and economic development of downtown Kingston and its wide cross section of stakeholders.

“We are moving beyond the traditional public-private partnership model in its execution to a much wider public-private-community partnership model,” he informed.

He noted that the development incorporates a number of sub-projects such as refurbishing of the Coronation Market; as well as several private sector initiatives including the development of hotels, entertainment parks and a cultural hub in Trench Town.

“It is an approach, which should appeal to the Diaspora as, from your vantage point, this project should fit easily into a ‘new lens’ approach, which you are more open to, given your exposure, which sometimes is not as easy for those within the system,” the Minister contended.

Mr. Vaz expressed the hope that the Conference’s outcomes will serve to stimulate the delegates in determining how best they could further contribute to Jamaica’s growth and development agenda.

The biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference is being held from July 23 to 26 under the theme: ‘Partnering for Growth’.

JIS Social