UK High Commissioner Lauds Govt. Response to Global Crisis


Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Burchell Whiteman, has said that despite the challenges of the global economic crisis, Jamaica’s financial system has remained vibrant.
Mr. Whiteman explained that analysts have attributed this to the effective regulatory system which the country has had in place since the 1990s.
The High Commissioner was speaking in Leeds to the Northern Regional Council (of Jamaican organisations) on the Jamaican Government’s proactivity in dealing with the economic crisis.
He explained that the Government has implemented initiatives, including: aggressive marketing by the Minister of Tourism since mid-2008; tax cuts that have been used by the tourism sector to continue its marketing thrust; and the PATH programme increasing the number of beneficiaries to widen the safety net for the most vulnerable in the society.
Mr. Whiteman recalled that a high level Jamaican ministerial team visited London for a major investment forum on February 5. The team included: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. Kenneth Baugh; Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda; and Minister without Portfolio in the Finance Ministry, Senator Don Wehby.
They addressed more than 100 interested parties at the one-day forum organised by Jamaica Trade & Invest (European Office), which is based at the High Commission in London.
In response to concerns about the impact of crime, the High Commissioner suggested that the audience rely on accurate information, to counter widely held perceptions about the country.
He said the Government’s objective is to grow the economy and create more jobs, as a medium term response to serious crime. But, he agreed that there was a need for the public to have greater confidence in the police, and for the police to be worthy of that trust. He said that this was a work in progress.
The High Commissioner commended the Northern Regional Council for pioneering and continuing to support the collaborative work of Jamaicans in different cities and communities. He urged them to ensure that the spirit was extended to embrace the wider Jamaican diaspora and to find innovative ways of engaging more young people.

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