JIS News

The Government will be strengthening economic diplomacy, in order to help steer the country out of the grip of the global financial crisis and lay a solid foundation for future progress, says Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh.
“Recent events compel us to redouble our efforts to find that path to sustainable development that can help break the cycles of poverty that feed moral and social decay. For this reason, the Ministry is making economic diplomacy an even higher priority in our foreign policy,” he said.
The Minister was making his contribution to the 2010/2011 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 13.
Dr. Baugh said the Government intends to advance its national economic and commercial interests in tangible ways, informing that a part of this is the expansion and further development of various economic initiatives, including the Ministry’s Trade Policy and negotiation mechanism. “We now intend to expand these initiatives to other aspects of our economic development, guided by the provisions of Vision 2030 and the National Export Strategy,” he said.
“The Ministry and its overseas missions already have as a standard mandate, the monitoring of economic developments and the undertaking of trade and investment outreach in the countries in which they serve,” Dr. Baugh further remarked.
He said the Government, therefore, was strengthening its monitoring and business support functions and tailoring them to meet the needs of Jamaica’s private sector and prospective investors.
“Our missions, within appropriate diplomatic parameters, will function in effect as representative offices of all our businesses. Our Missions stand ready to prepare and make more readily available to interested businesses, information and advice on business practices and opportunities in their countries of accreditation,” the Minister said.
Dr. Baugh said the objective is a deepening of the public/private partnership at the diplomatic level, which will help the Government to pursue more effectively, its corporate and national development goals.
“As part of the redoubling of our economic diplomacy efforts, our missions will be making resource mobilisation an important priority in accordance with the plans of the Ministry of Finance,” he further noted.
He said the Ministry had been instrumental in laying the groundwork for some of the successes already achieved in the areas of grant and concessional funding, for example those secured from the Chinese Government and its Ex-Im Bank.
The Minister pointed out that the Ministry would be monitoring sources of grant and concessional funding as well as financing for investments, to contribute to the goals of economic development in key sectors of the economy.