Former Prime Minister, Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, addresses yesterday’s (June 17) closing ceremony of the 6th Jamaica Diaspora Conference, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.
Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, has pointed to the need for increased engagement of the Diaspora in investment projects in the country.
He said Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) must play a lead role in reaching out to overseas nationals to facilitate their participation in the myriad of development projects that are underway in the country.
“When we talk about investments, we must include Jamaican investments overseas, and the arm of JAMPRO must be expanded to include and embrace Jamaican investments,” Mr. Patterson said.
“Too many things are happening here. There are too many projects ready to roll, in which people can get a meaningful stake and involvement. This is (one of the best ways) in which people in the Diaspora can be part of the building of Jamaica,” he further contended.
The former Prime Minister was addressing the closing session of the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on Wednesday (June 17).
He acknowledged the need to reduce red tape, in order to “encourage members of the Diaspora to invest in their homeland in an all-encompassing manner.”
“Yes, there are some things that have to be done. Red tape has to be reduced. The involvement of the Diaspora in our country has to be total. It has to be all-embracing and it has to be devoid of political partisanship. It has to involve to a great extent, our business leaders. I know some of the frustrations that you are experiencing, but you can’t give up, we have to work together to make things happen and build Jamaica,” Mr. Patterson said.
He commended the overseas nationals for their commitment to their homeland, despite the changes they have faced in their adopted countries.
The former Prime Minister said the success of the Jamaica Diaspora Conference, held since 2004, is evidence of the strength and focus of members of the Diaspora.
He said he has always been convinced that the millions of citizens in the Diaspora are critical to the nation’s development.
“We need no greater proof than your presence here at this large and successful gathering that you share this belief. I sense the energy and optimism that have prevailed during this conference,” he said.
Published Date: June 19th, 2015
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