Jamaica to Utilise Skills of the Diaspora as Part of Growth Strategy

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, addressing the Jamaica Christian Diaspora Conference at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites, St. James on October 14.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith says the Diaspora represents a wealth of human capital and expertise, which Jamaica will utilize as part of its growth strategy.
  • “This Ministry has been mandated to create a closer, more cohesive interface between certain critical public sector entities which have key roles in facilitating a faster and clearer path for investments,” the Minister explained.
  • Among the objectives of this entity are: to connect Jamaicans in the Diaspora; to promote “Brand Jamaica” globally; attract investments to Jamaica; and “pair” leading executives, entrepreneurs and professionals in the Diaspora with their counterparts in Jamaica with a view towards business expansion.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith says the Diaspora represents a wealth of human capital and expertise, which Jamaica will utilize as part of its growth strategy.

She was addressing the Jamaica Christian Diaspora Conference at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites in St. James on October 13.

Senator Johnson Smith said with this goal in mind, the newly created Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation has been mandated to harness all the country’s human resources, at home and abroad, to channel the way forward.

“This Ministry has been mandated to create a closer, more cohesive interface between certain critical public sector entities which have key roles in facilitating a faster and clearer path for investments,” the Minister explained.

She said of equal importance is the creation of the Economic Growth Council (EGC) which is charged with accelerating the implementation of projects to achieve an annual economic growth rate of at least five per cent within four years.

Senator Johnson Smith noted that the EGC has signalled its intention to harness the skills of the Diaspora as a key growth initiative.
“We are cognizant of the fact that the Diaspora represents a wealth of knowledge which can and must be leveraged. We have reviewed countries with best practices in Diaspora engagement and we are now determining the options most suitable in the Jamaican context,” she explained.
The Growth Council has also recommended the re-configuration of the Jamaica Diaspora Foundation into Global Connect Jamaica, which will serve as a Public-Private Partnership to facilitate and encourage the Diaspora to invest in Jamaica.

Among the objectives of this entity are: to connect Jamaicans in the Diaspora; to promote “Brand Jamaica” globally; attract investments to Jamaica; and “pair” leading executives, entrepreneurs and professionals in the Diaspora with their counterparts in Jamaica with a view towards business expansion.

Meanwhile, Senator Johnson Smith said the Government is fully desirous of a partnership with the Diaspora that is mutually beneficial.
“It is important you know that we just don’t want to take your remittances. We want you to have a stake in this country… where you can see meaningful returns on your investment. This is a partnership and we want your efforts to be recognized and appreciated,” she said.

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