Jamaica and the World


Jamaica’s diplomatic future

By David P Rowe
Op-Ed Contributor

Now that Jamaica has benefitted from a Presidential visit by the United States’ Barack Obama, what is next for the country? And what should be next for Jamaica’s relationship with the rest of the world?

Domestically, Jamaica must continue to make civic progress; the reduction of the murder rate and battling gang violence in the inner city. Civic progress will create an inducement for American investors who in many cases remain concerned about the level of crime on the island and its consequences for growth.

Jamaica’s all-important tourism sector has been a great success. It has developed significant brand name hotels, namely Sandals and Couples.

But Jamaican tourism can grow even more, and Jamaica must make every effort to attract foreign joint-venture partners, particularly from the United States, to engage in major Jamaican investment projects.

lWe should not be commercially satisfied until every major US hotel chain is represented on the island.

Jamaica also needs to work with its international partners like the United States and Israel to harness new and innovative technologies; that means things like a major desalination plant, an expensive but vital investment for the country and an area in which Israel in particular has strong expertise.

Ultimately, the vision for Jamaica’s diplomatic future must be practical.

The Island needs western capital and technology. The US and Jamaica can continue to work things out with the right leadership, in order to further strengthen a relationship that has never been closer.

Then it comes to human rights and Jamaica’s perception in the global community. People should not be criminally harassed for their sexual orientation. There must be a level of morality that is engaged by the Jamaican population to make wise, productive decisions which will bring about the right consequences for the country.

Jamaica’s future is as a developed, democratic society that can be one of the small-island lights of the hemisphere.

And our international partners and allies will be a crucial part of getting there.

David P Rowe is an attorney in Florida and Jamaica and an adjunct professor of law at the University of Miami School of Law.

Note: the opinions expressed in Caribbean Journal op-eds are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Caribbean Journal.


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