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Diaspora Urged To Invest In Critical Sectors

Diaspora Urged To Invest In Critical Sectors
Director of Diaspora And Consular Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Sharon Saunders (left), is greeted by Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore of the New York State Assembly, Jamaican-born Nick Perry (right). The occasion was the opening of the two-day Jamaica Diaspora North East Regional Conference at the Hilton New York JFK Hotel in Queens on June 10. Others sharing the moment (from 2nd left) are: Assistant Director Of Diaspora Affairs in the Ministry, Lincoln Downer; and Immediate Past President of the Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations, Karlene Largie.
(Media Credit: Derrick Scott)

KINGSTON (JIS) -- Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, is encouraging members of the diaspora to look at investing in critical sectors of Jamaica’s economy. These include: health and wellness services, manufacturing, agribusiness, energy, mining, logistics, financial services, and the creative industries. The Minister was delivering the keynote address at the Jamaica Diaspora North East United States Talawah Awards Gala, in Queens New York, on June 11. She informed, that the Government is analysing best practices from a number of countries with a view to having Jamaicans living in the diaspora being able to vote. “We have obtained information from countries that have already implemented this framework and we are now in the process of analysing various options, which would be deemed to be in the best interest of Jamaica and you our diaspora,” she said.

Senator Johnson Smith said that following consultations, the matter will be placed before Parliament.

She noted that the Government will re-establish and reconvene a joint select committee of the Houses of Parliament on diaspora matters in order to elevate the relationship with overseas nationals.

The Minister said there is no denying that diaspora engagement and involvement have tremendous potential to bolster Jamaica’s economic advancement.

“It is essential, therefore, that our relationship be further strategically streamlined to maximise the value of the diaspora’s contribution to Jamaica’s national development and in particular, towards the attainment of economic growth and job creation,” she pointed out.

The awards gala brought the curtains down on the two-day Jamaica Diaspora North East United States Conference.

Seven outstanding Jamaican nationals received the inaugural Talawah Awards for their contribution in various areas.

They are Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, who received the award for politics; Rev. Dr. Jacqueline McCullough, who received the faith-based award; Rev. Calvin McIntire, the Lifetime Achievement award; Devon Harris, the Sports award;  Michael Seton and Raxann Chin, the Future Leaders award; and Eddie Robinson got the award for Art.