The identification of opportunities for investment in Jamaica and trade issues were among the topics discussed, when Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, called on United States (US) Trade Representative, Ambassador Ron Kirk, on July 26 at his downtown Washington, D.C. offices.
Ambassador Kirk is a member of the Cabinet of President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, and is the Chief Adviser to the President on all trade issues.
Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks with United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Ron Kirk, when she visited his office on July 26.
In a 45-minute high-level meeting, the U.S. trade official said that based on his understanding, there was full protection of investor rights in Jamaica, and this should augur well for efforts to attract increased levels of investment into Jamaica.
Ambassador Kirk, a former Mayor of Dallas, Texas, expressed the view that the US needed to become more engaged with global partners. He said it was therefore important for the country to pursue new markets and to directly engage with traditional stakeholders and partners, such as Jamaica, “to ensure continued growth and prosperity.”
He praised Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding’s vigorous measures to confront narco-trafficking and the related scourge of crime.
Noting the special relationship between the US and Jamaica, Ambassador Kirk said he looked forward to working closely on issues of common interest.
“Jamaica is seen as a leader in the Caribbean,” he said, and expressed appreciation for the efforts of the country to conclude negotiations on the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between CARICOM and the US.
Welcoming the signal of interest in strengthening trade relations with Jamaica, Ambassador Marks outlined to the US Trade Representative, a number of steps taken by the Government of Jamaica to pursue economic growth, based on managing the fiscal budget, by holding deficits within pre-determined parameters and establishing a fixed debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio.
“These policies being pursued in partnership with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have placed Jamaica on a path of sustainable economic and social development,” the Ambassador told the US official.
The Ambassador, who assumed office some two months ago and presented credentials to President Obama on June 28, has been focusing on strengthening Jamaica-US relations, especially in terms of increased investment and trade opportunities, as well as deepening the links between Jamaica and its Diaspora.
Over the past few weeks, she has met with members of the US Congress and will continue on Thursday July 29, with Chairman of the House Sub-committee on Western Affairs, Congressman Elliott Engels.