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Prime Minister said that while the country recognizes the tremendous contribution made by the Jamaican Diaspora in terms of the resources which they continue to transmit to the country by way of remittances and investments, there was a reservoir of knowledge and experience which the country has not utilized as best it could…
He was addressing delegates attending the Third Biennial Jamaican Diaspora Conference in Kingston on Monday (June 16).
Mr. Golding said he has spoken to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Industry Investment and Commerce with a view to creating a databank of skills that exist within the Diaspora in order to determine what skills exists where and whether they were available either on a short-term or long-term basis.
He said that often when the country needed an expert to solve a problem the tendency was to look everywhere except among our Jamaican people. He said more needed to be done in order to open a line so that the government can know who is overseas, and what is here in Jamaica and that they have an interest in and have an ability to assist. .
He said the Diaspora has a spirit of goodwill that was powerful and on which a value could not be placed and was something that Jamaica should take advantage of. He said the development of the Diaspora network was intended to shorten the link between what we need here in Jamaica and their ability to respond from where they are.
Also addressing this morning’s opening was the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr Kenneth Baugh who gave details of the formation of the Jamaican Diaspora Foundation which is expected to become operational by the end of this year. The objectives of the foundation are to strengthen the links and support systems between Jamaicans residing abroad and at home.
A joint select committee of the Houses of Parliament on Diaspora affairs has also been established. The committee will consist of members of Government and the opposition from both the House and the Senate.