KINGSTON — Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro) is targeting overseas nationals as it looks to boost investment in the country.
The agency's Vice President for Planning and Corporate Development, Dr. Dana Morris-Dixon, said that Jamaicans in the Diaspora have expressed interest in setting up businesses in their country of birth.
"A lot of these persons are interested in investing in Jamaica and we are trying to connect them to the investment opportunities here. In addition, given all of their influence, they are a good resource and (provide connection) to the markets that we are after… to showcase the Jamaican opportunities,” she stated.
Dr. Morris-Dixon was addressing a press conference on October 25 at the Jamaica Observer offices in St. Andrew, to provide details of the newspaper’s 2011 Business Leader Awards, which this year, recognises overseas nationals, who operate successful businesses.
The Jampro Vice President lauded the focus, noting that "what the Jamaica Observer is doing fits in nicely with what we want to do, as we believe that the Diaspora can spur economic development locally."
Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, who attended today’s press conference, also praised the Jamaica Observer for recognising the contribution of overseas nationals. She said that “more and more, we are realising that the Diaspora represents such a tremendous socio-economic resource for Jamaica."
The Ambassador informed that she is in the process of building a database of Jamaican/Americans. “It is an amazing experience; we have a deep socio-economic resource in the Diaspora that we need to tap into,” she stated.
The 2011 Business Leader Awards will turn the spotlight on entrepreneurs within the Jamaican Diaspora, who have made significant contribution to the economic development of their adopted country.
By nominating these individuals, sharing their stories with the public and inviting them home to celebrate their success, it is hoped that they can strengthen business ties within the Diaspora community, and more specifically, sow the seeds for joint ventures and other entrepreneurial initiatives with operators of local businesses.
"This year, our focus is the Jamaica Diaspora and the successes that so many nationals have had in their respective communities overseas… when you listen to some of the tremendous success stories of so many Jamaicans, it is phenomenal," said Deputy Chairman of the Jamaica Observer, Adam Stewart.
He informed that more than 60 Jamaican-owned and operated businesses were looked at, with 10 nominated for the Business Awards, which will be presented on November 30 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
Meanwhile, Mr. Stewart stated that the climate in Jamaica is good for investment. “As a young businessman in Jamaica, I am inspired right now. I am inspired to invest more money back into our country,” he stated.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter