Destination Trade and Investment the Focus at 10th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference

Destination Trade and Investment the Focus at 10th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference

State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Alando Terrelonge. Photo courtesy: JIS

By Mickella Anderson-Gordan | Jamaican Information Service

The country will be marketed as a destination for trade and investment, at the 10th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference.

Under the theme, ‘United for Jamaica’s Transformation’, this year’s conference will mark 20 years since the event was first held and will take place from June 16 to 19 in Montego Bay, St. James.

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State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, during an appearance on the Dr. Vibe YouTube channel today (April 3), said that the focus on Jamaica’s economic resilience and investment opportunities will serve to engage members of the diaspora in a different way.

He said marketing Jamaica as ‘Destination Trade and Investment’ and using the conference to provide key linkages for investment opportunities, is to “get Jamaicans across the diaspora to invest in Jamaica, see investment returns [and] see yourselves earning money”.

“Everyone knows Jamaica for its sunshine, but Jamaica is more than our beaches. It’s more than coming down and having a Red Stripe beer, having some jerked chicken or going to Dunn’s River Falls. Jamaica is also one of the best economies in the developing world,” the State Minister said.

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He cited some of the international attention the country has been getting, such as an article in the Miami Herald that deemed Jamaica a “mini superpower in the region”, and the Financial Times in the United Kingdom also hailed Jamaica as a beacon of economic growth, prosperity and wealth creation.

Moreover, Mr. Terrelonge reminded that the country’s unemployment rate, at 4.2 per cent, is the lowest in its history and that Jamaica’s post-COVID growth is now higher than pre-COVID growth.

The State Minister pointed out that as the country grows, “people in Jamaica will be making money”, which will result in fewer phone calls from Jamaicans at home to the diaspora requesting assistance.

This is part of a process of “changing the narrative” to a process of engagement, empowerment and continued connectivity with the diaspora, he added.

“We recognize that the diaspora has a voice and that when we speak of national development, a part of our strategy is diaspora engagement, recognizing the role that they play,” Mr. Terrelonge emphasized.

He said that the conference will be undertaken through an all-of-government approach with partnerships from key private-sector groups and promises to be “bigger and better” than previous ones.

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