Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says that next month’s staging of the Jamaica 60 Diaspora Conference provides an opportunity to encourage more overseas Jamaicans to take advantage of the business and investment opportunities that the country offers.
“I would love this conference, this year, to focus on the business opportunities here. Our capital markets, real estate, business process and knowledge process outsourcing are doing very well, leading the region,” he pointed out.
“We have opportunities in agriculture and logistics. Let us bring this massive resource in the diaspora to bear on making the investments that will cause our country to grow. We want to engage the diaspora in investments; we want to bring the diaspora here for business,” he added.
The Prime Minister was addressing the global launch of the ninth biennial conference on Friday (May 6), at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, located at 2 Port Royal Street in Kingston.
Mr. Holness said that the Government is committed to further strengthening relations and communication with the Jamaican Diaspora.
He pointed out that aligning engagement activities across ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) will increase interface with diaspora organisations around the world, linking second, third and fourth generations of Jamaicans.
“So, I am pleased to launch the Jamaica 60 Diaspora Conference, which is scheduled to be held from June 14 to 16. I look forward to the diaspora’s continued support and engagement with the Government of Jamaica as we rekindle our resolve to ensure that Jamaica realises its destiny for greatness,” Mr. Holness said.
For her part, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, noted that the conference will serve as a call to action by Jamaicans across the world to utilise their collective experiences, knowledge, social, human, and economic capital to transform Jamaica.
“With your help, we will exceed the target of 5,000 registered participants, setting the stage for wider engagement and harnessing the true potential of all of us, both at home and abroad,” Senator Johnson Smith said.
The biennial conference is being hosted by the Foreign Affairs Ministry under the Jamaica 60 theme, ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness’.
It will be held in hybrid format, that is in-person and virtually, because of the continuing effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
It will commence with an opening ceremony to be followed by plenary sessions over the three days, covering areas related to diaspora engagement in a digitalised world, transformation of education, transformation of health and wellness services, the orange economy, cultural and creative industries, and business and investments in Jamaica.
In addition, there will be three special fora to focus on engaging young diaspora members – Generation Z and Millennials, the role of faith-based groups in diaspora engagements and community transformation, and customer satisfaction for diaspora members by MDAs.
The event will culminate with reports of achievements since the 2019 conference as well as a roadmap for actions, and recommendations for Jamaica’s 60th Independence anniversary.
The 2021 staging of the conference was postponed due to COVID-19.