Minister of Industry Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, has challenged second generation Jamaicans in the Diaspora, to focus on new business technologies when considering investing in Jamaica.
“We must move into the technological era,” the Minister urged his audience at the Jamaica Diaspora Future Leaders Conference being held at the Mona Visitors Lodge.
Nearly 200 second-generation Jamaicans from the Diaspora are attending the conference, which runs August 4 – 9. It is aimed at strengthening the process of building networks of Future Leaders in the Jamaican Diaspora, towards more meaningful engagement in Jamaica’s development.
Speaking Wednesday (August 5), Mr. Samuda outlined plans for the development of the Caymanas Economic Free Zone, noting that the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector will drive much of Jamaica’s planned development. He urged the involvement of the Future Leaders in this process.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, addresses a workshop at the Future Leadership Jamaica Diaspora Conference, held at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies, today (August 5).
“You are the agents of change. It is your generation, with the mental dexterity, the creativity, the modern thinking, that can move this process forward,” he suggested.
He cited the energy sector as one to which young entrepreneurs could bring new thinking in solar, wind and various other energy-saving measures, in order to address Jamaica’s current energy situation.
Mr. Samuda said that old traditions in the business sector must give way to new approaches, hence the Government’s emphasis on research and information technology.
“We feel we have the best opportunity, because we have a highly sophisticated infrastructure.(however) we are logging behind somewhat in soft infrastructure; over 70 per cent of our workforce have not been exposed to vocational training.this must be corrected and we are seeking to do that as quickly as possible,” he said.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda goes through his presentation while in conversation with Executive Director of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Valerie Veira, at a workshop at the Future Leadership Jamaica Diaspora Conference, held at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies, today (Aug. 5).
He stated that entrepreneurs and owners of capital should engage in worker development, including training at the workplace, as well as the application of new techniques and technologies.
In addition, the Commerce Minister pointed to the many opportunities for entrepreneurship that exist in the country, including in the area of agriculture and the various linkages that this sector presents.
He noted that a new breed of farmers, who apply technology to production, will open opportunities for the linkages between agro industry and other sectors. This he said provides the greatest opportunity for growth.
“The tourism sector, that is providing the foreign exchange that we need so badly, continues to import over 70 per cent of all that is consumed in the sector. That reduces the retention for Jamaica, to a mere trickle of what it could be, so the opportunities are there for you,” he told the workshop.
The session also heard presentations from Jamaica Trade and Invest(JTI), the Young Entrepreneurs Association, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation(JBDC), the HEART Trust/NTA, and a successful young entrepreneur from the United Kingdom, Nathaniel Peat.