State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, is urging members of the Diaspora to invest in Jamaica, pointing out that there are significant business opportunities available.
“Investing in Jamaica is a win-win value proposition. They (Diaspora) are guaranteed significant returns on their investment, and if there is any doubt, we just have to look at the range of companies that have invested in Jamaica and which have become global brands as a result of it,” Mr. Brown said.
The State Minister, who was speaking at the Rotary Club of St. Andrew’s weekly luncheon on Tuesday, April 30, at the Four Seasons Hotel, cited examples of companies such as Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and ACS e-Services Limited, which were started by Jamaicans living in the Diaspora.
He noted that these companies were able to tap into the market and contribute to the development of the local economy, and also become global brands.
Mr. Brown further remarked that the 3.7 million-strong Diaspora, represents much more than just remittances and philanthropic activities, but has a significant role in unlocking development and economic progress.
“We must therefore ensure that there is a framework in which members of the Diaspora can feel comfortable in terms of investing in the country,” he said.
Mr Brown, who has portfolio responsibility for Diaspora Affairs, also provided an update on the upcoming 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference to be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.
The conference, which has been re-branded to focus on trade and investment, will be held from June 16 to 19, under the theme: ‘Nation on a Mission: Jamaica – Diaspora Partnership for Development’.
The State Minister noted that the event will present the opportunity to “reposition the dialogue surrounding the ‘Homeland-Jamaica partnership’ and to focus more clearly on the investment opportunities that are available in Jamaica”.
He informed that the newly introduced Diaspora Marketplace Exposition will also allow exhibitors to present business and investment opportunities to persons attending the conference.
Among the groundbreaking features of this year’s conference will be the presentation of a draft Diaspora and Development policy document on international migration.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter