State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, says that there is significant interest from overseas Jamaicans in the upcoming Diaspora conference and the opportunities to invest in the country.
He said that coming out of recent promotion activities overseas “the response to the conference has been tremendous.”
The State Minister, who was addressing a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on Wednesday, May 1, said there have been endorsements for the event from several Jamaican investors living abroad.
“There is significant interest among Jamaicans in the Diaspora about the opportunities to invest in Jamaica and we are seeking to encourage that investment,” he stated.
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The 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, which has been re-branded to focus on trade and investment, will be held from June 16 to 19 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, under the theme: ‘Nation on a Mission: Jamaica – Diaspora Partnership for Development’.
Mr. Brown said the event, is going to serve to “galvanize and send a serious signal to the members of the Diaspora that the Jamaican Government and the people of Jamaica are welcoming of investment of Jamaicans in the country.”
The State Minister, who has portfolio responsibility for Diaspora Affairs, stated that the event will also provide the platform to strengthen the homeland-Diaspora partnership as part of the country’s growth strategy.
“The conference, we hope, will be a turning point in terms of the homeland (Diaspora) partnership and to make it more structured and institutional and to take it to the level where we can leverage the benefits of economic growth and development,” he stated.
He said that after examining several successful partnerships in other countries such as Israel, India, Ireland, China and Mexico, the intention is to pull elements from those models that can be replicated in Jamaica.
“These countries have been very successful in leveraging their homeland-Diaspora partnership in terms of bringing about economic growth, economic development in their country and we believe that Jamaica is in a position to do the same,” he stated.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter