JIS News

Business leaders in western Jamaica have responded positively to a special call by the Government to take advantage of business opportunities that may arise at the upcoming Diaspora Conference.

State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, said business entities in St. James and surrounding parishes, have been invited to take up booths that will be available over the three-day event, to showcase their offerings and make business connections.

“My information is that the booths are oversubscribed, which is a good sign,” he told JIS News at a recent Think Tank.

“We are hoping that there will be connections that are made through this process and that partnerships will emerge in the week of the conference,” he added.

Mr. Brown noted, however, that whereas business ideas will be generated at the conference, the process from concept to implementation, will take some time.

“We don’t expect that the following month, we are going to see investment, but down the road, we expect to see investment arising out of this,” Mr. Brown stated.

The 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference is scheduled for June 16-19 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre under the theme: ‘A Nation on a Mission: Jamaica Diaspora Partnership For Development.’ It is open to all Jamaican nationals at home and abroad.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is organising the event, is seeking to attract between 350 and 500 participants, and efforts have been made to reach Jamaicans, who reside in other Caribbean islands.

Mr. Brown noted that Bahamas, for example, has a significant population of Jamaicans, who have indicated that they need to be more involved in Diaspora affairs.

Registration fees for persons attending all three days of the conference remain at US$120, £80, CDN$120, and JA$12,000 for early registration.

A late registration fee of US$150, £100, CDN$150 and JA$15,000 will apply as of Friday, May 24.

Early one day fees are: US$60, £40, CDN $60 and $6,000 while late one day registration fees are US$75, £50, CDN $75 and JA$7,500.

For more information and to register for the conference, persons are asked to visit the conference website at www.jamaicadiaspora.gov.jm or contact the conference Secretariat at (876) 926-4220-8 or dca@mfaft.gov.jm.

By E. Hartman Reckord, JIS Reporter