Government to work more closely with Diaspora members toward wealth creation

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Government to work more closely with Diaspora members toward wealth creation

Thursday, October 15, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Audley Shaw, says the government will be working more closely with Diaspora organisations to address the challenges they face in getting investments underway in Jamaica as well as toward increasing opportunities for mutual benefit.

Speaking on the behalf of Prime Minister Andrew Holness at the virtual staging of the High-Impact Diaspora Entrepreneurs to Efficient Diaspora Markets — International Caribbean Diaspora Entrepreneurs' Conference & Trade Show yesterday, Shaw said the skill-set and professional expertise of Diaspora members need to be leveraged in a structured way for mutual benefit.

“Traditionally, we have just tended to depend on the Diaspora for remittances, but we have to go beyond this to [for example] technology transfer. Members of the Diaspora through their jobs may have been exposed to technology that, if shared, will benefit Jamaica,” Shaw said.

The minister noted that the government's commitment to improving the country's relationship with the Diaspora is outlined in the National Diaspora Policy (NDP), which has been approved by Cabinet.

“We are working to improve the communication and synergies with the Diaspora, realising that Jamaica has not taken significant advantage of the storehouse of energy [within the Diaspora]. We have not put in the mechanisms to benefit from our Diaspora in a material way toward mutual wealth creation,” Shaw said noting these areas will be addressed through the NDP.

Shaw further outlined several areas for investment that members of the Diaspora can access with the help of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO).

The areas include agro-business and agro-processing; tourism — which Shaw said has several in-demand niches such as health and wellness tourism, boutique wellness spas and eco-tourism; logistics and infrastructure as well as energy. He said the government stands ready to partner with Diaspora investors through JAMPRO and other government agencies.

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