Partnerships with Diaspora critical to sustainable growth, says PIOJ chief

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Partnerships with Diaspora critical to sustainable growth, says PIOJ chief

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr Wayne Henry, says strengthening existing partnerships and forging new ties between Jamaica and its Diaspora are vital toachieving sustainable growthand development.

“For us to achieve the stated objective in Vision 2030 to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business… partnerships are critical. Partnerships among Jamaicans at home and those abroad, in the planning, decision-making and implementation process, can only serve to advance the well-being of the nation,” he said.

The director general was addressing Monday’s (June 17) session of the eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, being held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

Dr Henry emphasised that the Diaspora plays an important role in fostering economic growth, strengthening social protection and building environmental resilience.

He noted that the National Policy on International Migration and Development acknowledges that migrants are potential agents of development, who are well-positioned to strengthen cooperation between countries of origin and destination, and contribute to national development through various avenues.

These, he pointed out, include investments and knowledge-sharing.

He noted that while remittances from Jamaican emigrants have been critical in sustaining families and strengthening the country’s foreign currency reserves, there is “even greater scope” for the Diaspora make a contribution by investing in real estate, and the venture capital and capital markets.

In the area of knowledge transfer, Dr Henry said many Jamaicans have distinguished themselves in their adopted homelands in diverse areas such as business, medicine, information technology and law.

“Sharing their expertise would advance the island’s knowledge capacity in a wide range of areas, for example, through partnering with the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise sector in Jamaica, as the Diaspora can transfer or exchange ideas, experience, skills and research results between businesses,” he noted.

The Diaspora Conference is being held from June 16 to 20, under the theme ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora: Pathways for Sustainable Development’.

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