Newly appointed Consul General to Toronto Canada, George Ramocan, has assured members of the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation (JDCF), that the Jamaican Government is intent on building a relationship of mutual benefit with its Diaspora.
Mr. Ramocan, who assumed duties on Monday, November 16, met with the group during its regular monthly meeting, held at the Jamaican Consulate General, on November 19.
The new Consul General told the JDCF members and President, Mrs. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, that Jamaica’s greatest resource is its people, and this includes the millions of Jamaicans living in countries around the world, which form the Jamaican Diaspora.
“We want to preserve the good name and image that Jamaicans abroad have built for themselves, through hard work and outstanding achievements,” the Consul General told the group, and thanked the JDCF members for their “unreserved commitment” to Jamaica.
“You are here at this Diaspora meeting, not simply because you are a Jamaican, but because you want to contribute to the development of Jamaica,” he said.
Outlining some of the issues he would like to undertake during his tenure in Toronto, Mr. Ramocan said he will “constructively reach out” to inner city youth, who sometimes get into trouble and give Jamaica a bad name.
Newly appointed Consul General to Toronto Canada, George Ramocan (right), with the Dean of the Consular Corps in Toronto, Mr. Michael Lashley (left), who is also Consul General for Trinidad and Tobago.
“Some of our nationals who have come to Canada with good intentions are challenged in adjusting to their new environment and have fallen by the way. Others have come here without complying with proper immigration requirements. It is incumbent on those of us who seek to uphold the good name of our country to take these persons by the hand before they get into trouble with the law, to help them correct or regularise their circumstances,” he said.
Acknowledging the significant contributions made to Jamaica by Diaspora members, Mr. Ramocan said a strong and vibrant Diaspora can further contribute to the growth of Canada and Jamaica. He cited a number of areas which Jamaican Canadians can become engaged in, that would bring significant benefits to Jamaica, including investments, tourism, and cultural relations.
“Jamaicans overseas with specialised knowledge, wealth and influence can become engaged in the economic and social development of their homeland by steering foreign direct investments into Jamaica. The Jamaican Diaspora can help provide much needed capital for nation building, through capital market instruments like hard currency, bank accounts, certificates of deposit, equity and debt funds, and bonds,” he explained.
The Consul General added that the Jamaican Diaspora can also help promote tourism, which has the unique value of supporting home communities and the purchase of nostalgic goods that are produced by community-based enterprises.
“We must now go beyond remittances to focus on creative mechanisms for development and growth of our beautiful island and the Jamaican Consulate here in Toronto is ready to show you how,” he said.
No stranger to Canada, Mr. Ramocan was one of two Jamaican Student Ambassadors to visit Expo ’67 in Montreal, when Canada celebrated its centenary.
The Consul General has also called on the Dean of the Consular Corps and Consul General for Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Michael Lashley.