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High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Burchell Whiteman, has said that while Jamaica has not been untouched by the global economic meltdown, the country continues to do reasonably well.
“While Jamaica has not been untouched by the global economic crisis, our financial institutions have remained stable. I am happy to tell you that in terms of our licensed financial institutions, we have not suffered in any significant way, and the situation is quite stable,” he told a meeting of community leaders on March 21.
The High Commissioner assured the audience that the Government is working to mitigate the effects of the current crisis.
“There have been job losses, but at the same time the Government has provided a stimulus package, which has made available extra social support through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to the most vulnerable, and at the same time, there is a package for economic stimulus. What I am saying to you fellow Jamaicans is despite everything, we are doing reasonably well and we continue to remain positive about the future,” he said.
Mr. Whiteman also pointed out that the Government is working to ensure that the country is prepared to take full advantage of the opportunities, once the economic down- turn ends.
“We are not behaving as though this recession is a bottomless, endless experience, we are preparing for when it bottoms out. Less than a month ago we had three Ministers here at a Jamaica/UK Investment Forum, which was quite successful, and the follow-up is looking quite promising, so when the recession bottoms out, Jamaica will be in a position to take full advantage of the possibilities,” the High Commissioner said.
The meeting was held to update community leaders on the progress of the UK Diaspora Movement and to agree on the selection and election of regional representatives. The opportunity was also taken to formally introduce the new Deputy High Commissioner, Joan Thomas, who took up duties a month ago, replacing Sharon Saunders. Ms. Thomas was previously the Acting High Commissioner to South Africa.
High Commissioner Whiteman said while there has been a Jamaican Diaspora in the UK for many decades, the process of formalising it as a Diaspora Movement started in 2002 and that it is still a work in progress.

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