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Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, while lauding the Diaspora’s philanthropic efforts and remittances to the island, says nationals abroad have a key role to play in the country’s social and economic development through investment and entrepreneurship.
“Remittances, in particular, have become an important feature of many households (but) the Diaspora can play a much more strategic role,” Mrs. Marks said at a town hall meeting on Friday (November 5) at the Bishop Poyser Church in Philadelphia.

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks (left), engages in a discussion with Lara Mitchell (2nd left) and her mother Dorothy Mitchell after a town hall meeting with members of the Jamaican community in Philadelphia, held on Friday (Nov.5) at the Bishop Poyser Church in Philadelphia.

She said Jamaicans abroad serve as a source of academic and technical expertise, and a market for Jamaican goods and services, including tourism.
Turning to other matters, the Ambassador outlined a range of initiatives taken to stabilise the economy, including the successful debt exchange programme that has saved the government some $41 billion.
She further pointed to major investment projects that are underway or in the final stages of planning, such as the US$2.5 billion Kingston Redevelopment Project; the US$220 million Falmouth cruise ship terminal; the US$1.5 billion Harmony Cove Casino and Hotel development; and conversion to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

Jamaican in Philadelphia, Beverly Julal poses a question to Ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks, during a town hall meeting on Friday (Nov. 5) at the Bishop Poyser Church in Philadelphia.

In addition to government policies designed to stimulate production, economic growth as well as attract new investments, she told the audience of the various measures that are being taken to curb crime.