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(Courtesy of JIS) Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., addresses members of the diaspora at a special reception held in his honour at the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington DC, on Tuesday (June 5). At right is Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks

 

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says the Government plans to tap into the Jamaican diaspora’s vast resources in order to leverage them to the country’s benefit.

He anticipates that these benefits will be significant, once a way to harness these vast resources more strategically is identified.

The State Minister was delivering the keynote address at a reception held in his honour by Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, at the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington DC, United States of America (USA), on Tuesday (June 5).

Senator Charles noted that there is need to improve the communication between Jamaica and the diaspora, so that members can have access to more accurate information about local developments and how the Government can facilitate Jamaicans overseas who are desirous of supporting their country.

In his first direct interaction with the Jamaicans in the United States, Senator Charles, who has responsibility for the diaspora, told guests that he wants to “carve out a new dispensation to find ways to have mutually beneficial exchanges between members of the Jamaican diaspora and my Ministry”.

“I believe that there is still this mindset that the diaspora must be the only one to give. However, this giving must be a two-way street,” he argued, pointing out that Jamaica must also contribute to the diaspora.

The State Minister also encouraged members to pursue potential investments in their homeland.

“Now is the time to invest in Jamaica, as there are myriad investment opportunities that await you. So I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity,” he emphasised.

Senator Charles reiterated that one of his new responsibilities is serving members of the diaspora.

“We now need to focus on connectivity, partnership and facilitation, so that Jamaicans living outside of Jamaica not only feel but know that they are not just seen as members of the diaspora but that they are an integral part of the development of their homeland,” he added.

The reception was attended by diaspora representatives from New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Delaware, Baltimore, Virginia and Washington DC.

Senator Charles was in Washington DC leading Jamaica’s delegation to the 48th Regular Session of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly, which ended on June 5.

Written by: Derrick Scott, Public Relations and Marketing Department, Jamaica Information Service