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Friday, June 16 is Jamaica Diaspora Day, an annual observation that emerged from the first Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference held in Kingston in 2004.

In addition to delivering a special commemorative Message to Jamaicans in the Diaspora, Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade this morning endorsed the launch of a study to be conducted jointly by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) and the Jamaica Diaspora Institute (JDI) on the value of the Jamaican Diaspora.

In her remarks, Minister Johnson Smith said the study would fill an important information gap, and would take the value assessment from “the anecdotal to the empirical”.

acknowledging that improved data would lead to improved decisions about investment and resources, the Minister also noted that the study “will enable the Government and the private sector to design innovative strategies that are relevant to the Diaspora, taking into account their unique needs and preferences in their respective locations.”

The Minister thanked Dr Damien King and Professor Ying representing CAPRI and the Jamaica Diaspora Institute respectively, for commencing what will be groundbreaking research regarding the diaspora and wished them well in their efforts.

She further used the opportunity to remind all that registration for Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference, under the theme “ Partnership for Growth” is currently underway at www.mfaft.gov.jm

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