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Jamaica to approve diaspora policy, commends 30 percent increases in remittances

By E. Hartman Reckord

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – State minister in the ministry of foreign affairs and foreign trade, Leslie Campbell, has commended the diaspora for its 30 percent increase in remittances and support for its families; meanwhile, the draft national diaspora policy will soon be approved as a white paper.

30 percent increase in remittances

“I must commend those who have been supporting their families through remittances, which showed an increase of more than 30 per cent last year,” he said. Speaking at a virtual launch of a new enterprise, Integrated Diaspora Services Ltd. (IDS), on March 24, Campbell said that in June 2020, “the Bank of Jamaica noted a rebound in remittances that had the effect of providing Jamaica with sufficient contributions to alleviate any foreign exchange shortages.”

“Indeed, Jamaicans at home have been grateful recipients of significant support from the diaspora during this global pandemic,” he said. While acknowledging members of the diaspora for their 30 percent increase in remittances, Campbell encouraged them to participate in the upcoming ninth biennial Diaspora Conference from June 16 to 18 this year.

“You will have a unique opportunity to interact with and explore exciting business and other opportunities, all done virtually,” he added. “The Conference hosted every two years, is the centrepiece for diaspora engagement, and “it brings the Jamaican family together to discuss family business”.

The event is being organised by the ministry of foreign affairs and foreign trade under the theme, ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora – Stronger together for a sustainable future’.

Diaspora policy – white paper

“I am truly excited about the prospect,” minister Campbell, said while addressing the virtual launch of Integrated Diaspora Services Limited (IDS).

The policy reflects the commitment of the government of Jamaica (GOJ) to pursue diaspora-related strategies and initiatives that are mutually beneficial to the national development process and the well-being of its diaspora population.

The policy provides the framework for enhancing the principle of mutuality between Jamaica and the diaspora. It is aligned to the goals articulated in the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 Jamaica, which is aimed at creating a framework for Jamaica to achieve developed country status within 12 years, as well as national priority documents such as the Medium Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework.

IDS is designed to provide much-needed services to members of the Jamaican Diaspora as well as those seeking to do business in Jamaica or pursue academic opportunities overseas.

Minister Campbell, who has responsibility for the diaspora, commended the directors of IDS “for building trust and encouraging the diaspora to do business in Jamaica,” added, “you have made a brave and commendable step, especially in these challenging times and should be encouraged,” he said while noting that the draft national Diaspora Policy supports initiatives and businesses such as IDS.

He told the directors that apart from forging ties with the diaspora, they have a duty to ensure that all the necessary and appropriate systems and apparatuses are in place to sustain good business practices.

“After all, it is on the strength of your record that your business will be judged to ensure successful engagements and desirable outcomes,” he continued. The diaspora has played a tremendous role, both individually and collectively in Jamaica’s development. The government and key stakeholders have, over the years, “invested time and resources in paving the way for seamless engagements with the diaspora in a wide range of activities, including business, investments, tourism, entertainment, real estate and philanthropy. I recognise that there are still challenges but feel confident that this process of engagement will continue to grow from strength to strength,” he said.



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