The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is working closely with the Ministries of Labour and Social Security and Education to promote overseas employment opportunities.
Under this collaboration, the various Ministries will seek to identify the potential growth areas for the labour force; advocate for an appropriate agreement or programmes to be instituted; and ensure that these are included in the mandate of Jamaica’s negotiating team for any enhanced bilateral labour arrangements.
"Information from the International Labour Organization (ILO) shows that there is scope for such arrangements. For example, the Philippines have a Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with several Canadian Provinces (and) we are seeking to secure our own,” said State Minister in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Hon. Arnaldo Brown.
He was speaking during his contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate on July 10 in the House of Representatives.
Mr. Brown informed that these types of labour arrangements are different from those under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which is specifically related to professionals.
He contended that expanding job opportunities for Jamaicans overseas will increase remittances into the country. He said that remittances represent an important source of foreign exchange for Jamaica.
"As a contribution to GDP (gross domestic product), remittances are second to tourism. Although negatively impacted by the financial crisis, this can become an even more stable revenue source for Jamaica, with greater input from temporary workers, under organised labour migration programmes,” the State Minister said.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter