JIS News

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has called on members of the Jamaican Diaspora to secure their share of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), noting that international partners have shown their confidence in the local economy by investing in mega projects.

“Along with our Diaspora, we need our international partners, and we will continue to invite foreign investments. Belgian-registered companies have invested in our transport sector; the French, in our road network infrastructure; the Spanish, in expanding our tourism industry, and the Chinese, in sugar cane manufacturing, bridges and other infrastructural developments. All these are welcome,” the Prime Minister told delegates attending the 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, at the opening ceremony on June 16, held at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort, in Montego Bay.

“There is room and space for everyone to participate, and this Conference is a clarion call to all Jamaicans, at home and abroad, to engage in Jamaica’s drive for growth. I hope you will grasp the opportunities, which will be presented at this Conference for investments in business and social projects,” she urged.

The Prime Minister emphasised that the Government is determined to put the Diaspora at the heart of the growth and development agenda.

Mrs. Simpson Miller also called for the “regeneration” of ideas from the youth population in the Diaspora.

“We must not lose sight of the need to keep regenerating our Diaspora movement with new ideas and the boundless energies of our youth. We must increase our outreach to the youth of our Diaspora, and in so doing, build upon inspiring projects like the Diaspora Youth Connect, that is making a difference in inner-city communities like August Town, Trench Town, Mountain View, Tivoli Gardens, and Flanker,” she said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller pointed out that the Joint Select Parliamentary Committee on Diaspora Affairs is another important instrument, which was designed to provide a direct channel to the corridors of decision making and should be utilized to greater effect.

“Throughout the past ten years, there has been a progressive sensitization of Government departments and agencies on issues and services pertaining to the Diaspora. To this end, Diaspora Units have been established in various agencies of Government, notably in the Ministry of Health, Jamaica Customs, and the Trade Board. In keeping with the new approach of this administration, JAMPRO has also designed a Diaspora Global Business Connect strategy, which will be in execution mode at this conference,” the Prime Minister told the audience.

She said that her recent involvement in the 50th anniversary celebration of the African Union, held in Ethiopia, caused her to be more “seized” of the global relevance of Jamaica in the world.

“Jamaica must continue to solidify our relationship with Africa, and to explore and engage our Diaspora on the continent. African countries are amongst the fastest growing economies in the world, and it is imperative that we continue to improve our relationship with these countries. Consequently, we recently appointed Mr. Carl Masters, as Special Envoy to the African Union, at the rank of Ambassador,” the Prime Minister said.

Contact: Garfield L. Angus

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