JIS News

Director General in the Ministry of Development and Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board, Dennis Morrison, has said Jamaicans abroad have gained increasing significance in light of changes in the global marketplace. He was speaking at the inaugural symposium, ‘The Jamaican Diaspora- Reciprocal Relations the Way Forward’ held recently at the University of the West Indies in Kingston. The symposium was hosted by the Mona School of Business of the University of the West Indies (UWI), in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
The event provided a forum for key representatives from the Diaspora to share their views on opportunities, issues and challenges facing Jamaica, and make recommendations that could guide policy with regard to the sustainable development of the country.
“We are looking at a sizeable nation (those within and without the Diaspora) and in this world of borders that are receding, where one has to trade and produce competitively that size presents a workable unit of economic organization,” he pointed out.
In addition, the Director General said that as Jamaica sought to compete in freer and freer markets it would still need bridges into the North America Markets, Canada and the United States, because of the presence of tariff and non-tariff barriers, which were easily negotiated by businesses and peoples located on the other side of the borders.
Continuing, he stated that, “our Jamaicans abroad . represent powerful human resources that can be brought to bear on significant problems that we have here at home, whether they are in business, economic policy formulation, health, education or information technology, they are important agents in terms of mobilizing capital and they have much to contribute in terms of organizing business, they are also important consumers”.
Jamaican-born, New Jersey Council Woman, Elsie Foster Dublin, in her presentation at the conference, said that it was imperative that successful Jamaicans abroad be engaged. She said it was unfortunate that many Jamaican migrants were out of touch as well as lost interest in the island but had contributed significantly to their adopted homelands and have acquired much in the way of resources.
She called for increased communication between Jamaica and its Diaspora, the provision of a clearing house for humanitarian aids, incentives to encourage investment in the country, and the engaging of youth and college students of the Diaspora in colleges in New Jersey to link with those at the UWI.
“They could become an integral part of the Jamaican society,” she said. She also called for members of the Diaspora to move beyond the level of sentimental attachment and make tangible contributions.
Mrs. Dublin urged the Jamaican government to “tap into this potentially great resource, through the power of information technology and through a concerted effort to utilize all available media, we can reconnect with the people in the Diaspora”.
Commenting on the practice of the Jamaica Information Service to distribute daily news releases via the Internet to various groups in New York, through its attach

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