JIS News

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, K.D. Knight has said that economic and trade integration, were critical for the survival of developing states such as Jamaica.
“For Jamaica, the reality is that economic and trade integration were no longer optional, but are imperatives for economic survival and national development,” he said, adding that given the challenges of globalization, small economies like Jamaica run the risk of being marginalized or forced to embrace an agenda that was broadly dictated by the large, more industrialized economies.
The Foreign Affairs Minister, who was delivering the keynote address at the 24th annual benefit gala and auction of the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) at the Copacabana, New York City on November 5, said that the government was cognizant of the need to expand and diversify exports given the erosion of preferential arrangements in the trade of sugar and banana with Europe.
According to Minister Knight, “Jamaica has undertaken significant structural reforms, which have been difficult but necessary if we are to compete internationally”.
Meanwhile, the Minister lauded AFJ for its “enormous reservoir of goodwill” that has benefited thousands of Jamaicans in a number of different institutions.
GraceKennedy & Company Limited and Western Union International/First Data Foundation, were presented with the organization’s 2005 International Humanitarian Award for their service to Jamaica, particularly in the field of education.
The companies were cited for their collaboration on the I PLEDGE (I promise to lend encouragement to develop growth in education) enrichment programme, which provides quality education for the nation’s children.
In his acceptance remarks, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy, Douglas Orane, noted that his company was committed to fostering growth through education of young minds, who will be the leaders of tomorrow.
“Our desire to invest in education looks at a common good for all our people – service, citizenship and empowerment. Through education, a society can change and sustain the direction of its people,” Mr. Orane observed.
Christina Gould, President of Western Union International and Thomas McDermott, Senior Vice President, accepted on behalf of their company.
Opposition Leader, Bruce Golding, headed the list of attendees which included Professor Gordon Shirley, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States; newly appointed United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Brenda LaGrange Johnson; Congressman Charles Rangel; H.E. Sue Cobb; Ambassador Glen Holden; Consul General, Dr. Basil K. Bryan, Chairman/Managing Director of the Gleaner Company Limited, Oliver Clarke.

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