PM Emphasises Importance of Foreign Ministry

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (centre), listens attentively as Acting Director for Consular Affairs at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Desreine Taylor (right), explains the functions of the Consular Affairs Department of the Ministry. Occasion was a visit to the Ministry by the Prime Minister on September 6. The Ministry is celebrating its 55 years of existence. At left is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator, the Hon Kamina Johnson Smith.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minster, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) is important to Jamaica’s economic growth and job creation functions.
  • The Prime Minster was addressing employees of the Ministry on September 6, at the headquarters at 21 Dominica Drive, New Kingston.
  • The visit by the Prime Minister formed part of the Ministry’s 55th anniversary celebrations, which got underway on September 4 with the hosting of commemorative celebrations, including the launch of a two-week exhibition and two publications.

Prime Minster, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) is important to Jamaica’s economic growth and job creation functions.

“It is important from the philosophical level of transitioning from seeking political independence to now trying to fulfill that political independence by being truly economically independent and your role in that is critical,” he said.

The Prime Minster was addressing employees of the Ministry on September 6, at the headquarters at 21 Dominica Drive, New Kingston.

The visit by the Prime Minister formed part of the Ministry’s 55th anniversary celebrations, which got underway on September 4 with the hosting of commemorative celebrations, including the launch of a two-week exhibition and two publications.

Mr. Holness said the Ministry must use the resources allocated in the budget “to leverage our relationships to bring greater business interests in Jamaica,” noting that the Ministry has shared responsibilities with the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

“We have our promotion agencies but you are in more places than our promotion agencies, so if you spot an investment opportunity or you use your initiative and see an investment opportunity, work out the protocols and formulise that …but let’s find more leads to investments,” he urged.

“You are the foot soldiers out there identifying opportunities, and responding quickly to them can lead to successes,” the Prime Minister added.

He called on the Ministry to create an investment profile with the number of countries from around the world that have invested in Jamaica.

“We have to manage the investments coming in, but we can’t miss the investment opportunities,” he said.

The Prime Minister also said that the country cannot rely solely on the traditional streams of investments, such as the government to government bilateral relations.

“Our Foreign Affairs Ministry has to take on a different posture. Yes, we maintain the government to government contact, but we also have to maintain and start to develop and cultivate government to business,” he said, noting that the private sectors in some countries are not under the direction of their central government.

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