Gov’t Seeking to Actively Engage Overseas Nationals


Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, has said that the government was seeking to actively engage Jamaicans in the Diaspora in the process of economic growth and development.
Addressing scores of exhibitors, investors and participants at the recent Jamaican Diaspora Investment Conference and Trade Exposition in New Jersey, Minister Baugh said that the government’s policy of engagement with the Diaspora was more than just remittances.
“Our policy to engage and involve you in national development is multi- faceted and comprehensive. It encompasses not just your remittances, your assistance in times of national disasters, your contributions in cash and kind to health, education and community development, for which we are both indebted and grateful. It takes in all aspects of nation building, of which a critical component is economic growth,” he stated.
Declaring that “today’s Jamaica means business,” Minister Baugh said that it will take more than the country’s strategic location to North America and its natural beauty to attract the discerning investor.Potential investors, he said, will be able to take fullest advantage of a literate and trained workforce, a well developed financial services sector, sophisticated telecommunications infrastructure, and a modern road and highway network.
He stressed that the Diaspora was an important component and it should not be content merely as an observer.
“You are just as important in the investment agenda of our nation as our local and foreign investors. I urge you to capitalize on the advantages that are yours as Jamaicans. Do not only be observers of the investor confidence that Jamaica is enjoying, be participants in it,” he urged, noting that the focus of the Government is to attract investments in the areas of information and communications technology, agri-business and manufacturing, mining and energy among other sector.
Minister Baugh, who has portfolio responsibility for the Diaspora, also used the occasion to announce that Professor Rex Nettleford, Chancellor Emeritus of the University of the West Indies, will be asked to stay on as chairman of the Jamaica Diaspora Foundation Advisory Board.
The conference was staged under the theme: ‘Beautiful Beaches…Bountiful Business,’ and was organized by the Jamaica Diaspora Trade and Investment Council Northeast Region United States.
Other conference presenters included; Gary Peart, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mayberry Investments Limited; Kirk Kennedy, Executive Director, Jamaica Trade & Invest; Patrick Casserly, President/CEO, e-Services Group International; Donovan Stanberry, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture; and Aubyn Hill, CEO, Corporate Strategies Limited.

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