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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has called on Jamaicans in the Diaspora to become ambassadors for their country and help to promote and protect Brand Jamaica.
  • She noted that Jamaica has gained international recognition as a powerful brand, especially in the areas of sports, music and culture.
  • She further noted that recognition for Jamaica has also come through high quality products and foods, to include rum, coffee and jerk.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has called on Jamaicans in the Diaspora to become ambassadors for their country and help to promote and protect Brand Jamaica.

Delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony for the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay, on June 14, Mrs. Simpson Miller said Jamaica needs the support of members of the Diaspora in the building and promotion of Jamaica as a brand.

She noted that Jamaica has gained international recognition as a powerful brand, especially in the areas of sports, music and culture.

“As ambassadors of this unique and powerful brand, we must collectively protect the resources, standards and values that make Jamaica great in the eyes of the world. We have the potential to derive substantial economic benefits from our creative industries. Our country enjoys enormous international acclaim derived from the achievements of our athletes, musicians and cultural icons,” the Prime Minister said.

She noted that recognition for Jamaica has also come through high quality products and foods, to include rum, coffee and jerk.

“The Government of Jamaica is continuing work to capitalize on the potential of brand Jamaica. For example, the Protection of Geographical Indications Act seeks to preserve and protect the quality for which authentic Jamaican products are known,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

“We understand that there are some people coming out with some fake things marked ‘made in Jamaica’. When anything is Jamaican it is real, it is good. We don’t want anybody to take our brand…and use our brand for some little low grade product,” the Prime Minister added.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said the Government recognises members of the Diaspora as a source of expertise and the conference represents the coming together of one people, committed to one cause – “prosperity for our people.”

The Prime Minister said the diaspora conference “is a positive institution in a movement that derives its energy from the tangible love and passion we share for our homeland.”

“It is the foundation upon which we are seeking to link for growth and prosperity. It is the basis on which we build and deepen sustainable Diaspora relationships for business and charitable activities,” she added.

She thanked those who have travelled from near and far to attend the 2015 conference and pointed out that “we all want to build a better Jamaica; a land of peace and love; a land of prosperity and inclusive growth”.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said the 2013 Jamaica Diaspora meeting proved to be a turning point and commended those who attended for their abiding commitment to the island.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the record attendance at that conference was proof of the abiding commitment of the Diaspora to Jamaica, and also demonstrated “the new wave of interest by our brothers and sisters overseas for the land of their birth and heritage.”

She said attendance at the 2015 conference seems to indicate that expectations have been exceeded, and that the Jamaica Diaspora relationship and interest remain strong and high.

The Prime Minister commended the various Jamaica Diaspora groupings that have made contributions to Jamaica in the areas of health, education and other community projects, in which some US$10 million have been contributed to the island over the past three years.