The United States’ new envoy to Jamaica, Ambassador-Designate Pamela Bridgewater, has pledged to use her tenure in Kingston to strengthen historic ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
Ambassador-Designate Bridgewater said she is looking forward to working with the Government and people of Jamaica in fulfilling her duties as Ambassador. She made the remarks while in discussions with Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, during a courtesy call at the Embassy of Jamaica, on Tuesday, August 24.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks (left) presents US Ambassador Designate to Jamaica, Pamela Bridgewater, with a book of Jamaican poems entitled ‘Soul Dance’ by Jamaican author Jean Lowrie-Chin, when she paid a courtesy call on Ambassador Marks at the Embassy of Jamaica on Tuesday, August 24.
She said that her priorities will include strengthening the business sector, particularly in the area of manufacturing; working with US businesses on investment opportunities; working with Jamaicans to help the country develop; working with communities to empower young people; and assisting the country to stem crime, and improve tourist arrivals.
Ms. Bridgewater acknowledged that there were many positives in Jamaica, and saw possibilities of a win-win situation in the area of joint-venture opportunities. She said she welcomed the chance to serve in Jamaica.
“Jamaica and America share deep political, cultural and religious values and many common elements in our history. The people of the United States have always had a tremendous love for Jamaica and its rich cultural heritage and traditions,” she said.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks (left), congratulates United States Ambassador Designate to Jamaica, Pamela Bridgewater, on her appointment as her country’s new envoy to Kingston, when she paid a courtesy call on Ambassador Marks at the Embassy of Jamaica on Tuesday, August 24.
Ms. Bridgewater pointed out that over 2 million Americans vacation in Jamaica yearly, accounting for 65 percent of Jamaica’s tourism, while 160 Peace Corps volunteers live and work across Jamaica.
Her Excellency Audrey Marks congratulated Ms. Bridgewater on her appointment and expressed pleasure, on behalf of Jamaica, for the opportunity to welcome her to the country.
“Your appointment is coming at a critical time in Jamaica’s history, during which the support of our closet neighbour and largest trading partner will be required in the area of socio-economic development and security support,” Ambassador Marks said.
She also highlighted investment opportunities which could be attractive to US investors, and noted that the investment climate in Jamaica was very welcoming at this time, citing the examples of Spanish and Chinese investments in major sectors. She said she recognised that the U.S is pursuing the creation of jobs as a priority and, as such, there are opportunities in Jamaica for partnerships to be developed with positive results for both Jamaica and the U.S.
She suggested the redevelopment of downtown Kingston as a major project, in which large U.S. contractors could become involved. Ms. Bridgewater expressed interest in this effort, and recalled the amazing redevelopment of the Washington Harbor.
Ms. Bridgewater has served in the US State Department for over 29 years, in postings in Africa, Europe and the Western Hemisphere. She has also had assignments in Belgium, Jamaica, South Africa, Benin and The Bahamas. Her last posting was as Ambassador to Ghana. She was accompanied on the call by Desk Officer in the Department of State, Robert Piehel. Minister-Counsellor in the Jamaican Embassy, Franz Hall, also participated in the discussions.