Simpson Miller: Jamaica’s Growth “Incomplete” Without Active Diaspora


Above: the Hilton Rose Hall

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaica’s Diaspora is integral to the country’s prospects for growth, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said this week at the opening of the Fifth biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference.

“We take the position that Jamaica’s growth and prosperity agenda is incomplete without the committed engagement and active participation of the Diaspora,” she said. “We are resolutely committed to implementing the policies and programmes necessary to facilitate increased levels of inclusiveness and involvement to make Jamaica -Diaspora investments, business and philanthropic activities seamless and successful.”
More than 700 people are attending the conference, a record for the event.

The conference, which is being held at the Hilton Rose Hall, is part of an attempt to increase Jamaica’s engagement with the Diaspora, according to Arnaldo Brown, State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

“With the increasing involvement of Jamaicans at home in projects initiated in the Diaspora, we are moving closer to the type of framework, which the experts agree is the essence of a vibrant and effective Diaspora/homeland partnership,” he said.

This year’s event is being held under the theme “A Nation on a Mission: Jamaica — Diaspora Partnership For Development,” looking to isolate opportunities for the country’s Diaspora to expand their business in Jamaica.

“We must endeavour to harness the efforts of stakeholders near and far, forge enduring partnerships and build consensus, as we pursue actions in the present that will further propel our nation towards prosperity and the economic independence we desire,” said former Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett, the Member of Parliament for East Central St James.

There is a need for “all hands to be on deck, and every shoulder to be put to the wheel,” he said.

The four-day conference ends on Wednesday.

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