State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Leslie Campbell, says that the draft National Diaspora Policy will soon be approved as a White Paper.
“I am truly excited about the prospect,” he said, while addressing the virtual launch of Integrated Diaspora Services Limited (IDS) on Wednesday (March 24).
The policy reflects the commitment of the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) to pursue diaspora-related strategies and initiatives that are mutually beneficial to the national development process and the well-being of its diaspora population.
The policy provides the framework for enhancing the principle of mutuality between Jamaica and the diaspora.
It is aligned to the goals articulated in the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 Jamaica, which is aimed at creating a framework for Jamaica to achieve developed country status within 12 years, as well as national priority documents such as the Medium Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework.
IDS is designed to provide much-needed services to members of the Jamaican Diaspora as well as those seeking to do business in Jamaica or pursue academic opportunities overseas.
Mr. Campbell, who has responsibility for the diaspora, commended the directors of IDS “for building trust and encouraging the diaspora to do business in Jamaica”.
“You have made a brave and commendable step, especially in these challenging times and should be encouraged,” he said, while noting that the draft national Diaspora Policy supports initiatives and businesses such as IDS.
He told the directors that apart from forging ties with the diaspora, they have a duty to ensure that all the necessary and appropriate systems and apparatuses are in place to sustain good business practices.
“After all, it is on the strength of your record that your business will be judged to ensure successful engagements and desirable outcomes,” he added.
Mr. Campbell said that the diaspora has played a tremendous role, both individually and collectively in Jamaica’s development.
He said that the Government and key stakeholders have, over the years, “invested time and resources in paving the way for seamless engagements with the diaspora in a wide range of activities, including business, investments, tourism, entertainment, real estate and philanthropy”.
“I recognise that there are still challenges but feel confident that this process of engagement will continue to grow from strength to strength,” he said.
Other speakers at the event included the company’s principals, Percival Hurditt and Nordia Teape; Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Lisa Hanna; Consul General, Miami, Oliver Mair; Global Jamaica Diaspora Council (GJDC) member, Northeast United States, Dr. Karren Dunkley; GJDC member, United Kingdom (UK), South, Nathaniel Peat and other diaspora business and social enterprise representatives.