State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, says the Government believes that the implementation of a Diaspora bond will bring investment to the country.
She was making her contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate on Wednesday (July 18) in the House of Representatives.
"We are very confident that a Jamaican Diaspora Bond would be very successful and would definitely redound to the benefit of all Jamaicans at home and abroad,” she stated.
The Ministry has been working with the Ministries of Finance and Planning and Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, towards the implementation of a US$1billion Diaspora Bond during the current financial year.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, in his Sectoral presentation last week, said a fact finding mission in the Diaspora, indicated “more than a willingness, on the part of the Diaspora, to support a Jamaican bond, once they are confident that these bonds will be used to implement tangible projects in education and health”.
Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said the aim of the strategy is to give incentives to the Diaspora to take full advantage of the opportunities for investment in Jamaica, “in the same way that we do for foreign direct investment”.
She noted the bond is seen as another way in which the Jamaican Diaspora can make a tangible contribution to the local economy to foster growth and employment.
"Our intention is for the bond to be offered at an attractive rate, and the funds used for small and medium enterprise projects,” she said.
The State Minister noted that Diaspora bonds have been successfully utilised by countries such as India and Israel.
Promotion of the bond will be undertaken by the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) in Diaspora communities in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter