State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT), Senator the Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte, paid a three-day visit to South Florida from November 12 to 14, where she met with groups representing the interests of Jamaicans in that region of the United States.
The weekend visit was in keeping with the commitment by the Government to increasingly engage the Diaspora on issues relating to national development.
Among the groups, with which the State Minister held discussions, was the 400-member strong Jamaica United States Chamber of Commerce (JAUSACC).
At a luncheon meeting held last Friday November 12 in downtown Fort Lauderdale, the State Minister assured the group that despite the economic and social challenges, the Government remains devoted to moving the country forward and in the right direction, citing the downward trend in crime and violence, and measures being undertaken to modernise the public sector and address corruption.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte (right), and Jamaica’s Consul General to Miami, Sandra Grant Griffiths (right), are in light discussion with board members of the Miami-based Jamaica United States of America Chamber of Commerce. From left are: Attorney, Georgia Robinson; Chief Executive Officer of CTI Communications, Ruddy McGlashan, and Executive at Antilles Freight, Joseph Rhoden. The State Minister was in South Florida over the weekend, where she met with representatives of a number of Jamaican organisations.
Mrs. Malahoo Forte, who has responsibility for Diaspora affairs, further commended the Chamber, under the leadership of President Marie Gill, for its dedication, as it continues to promote Jamaica’s investment and commerce prospects in South Florida.
She called on the members to help to find solutions to the nation’s economic problems.
The State Minister also spoke of efforts to protect brand Jamaica, through a study being undertaken by the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) and the Swiss Federal Intellectual Property Institute. Jamaica’s coffee and jerk sauces are among the top brands identified that would enjoy intellectual property rights protection through the study.
On Saturday November 13, Mrs. Malahoo Forte met with members of the Caribbean Bar Association (CBA), where discussions focused on issues relating to regional and international law, internship/mentoring and student exchange programmes, outreach projects, employment opportunities, and the legal licensing process.
Newly elected president, Sheldon Philp, commended the State Minister on her enthusiasm to work with the Diaspora.
Later in the day, she travelled to the city of Hialeah for the annual mentoring picnic hosted by the Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation, where she met with community legal representatives and Caribbean law students attending institutions in South Florida.