Government of Jamaica to launch economic diplomacy programme

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(From Left-Right) Canadian High Commissioner, Her Excellency Laurie Peters; Ambassador of Norway to the Caribbean, Her Excellency Ingrid Mollestad; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith and Head of Delegaton for the European Union  to Jamaica, Her Excellency Malgorzata Wasilewska {Photo: Rudranath Fraser]

By Tanesha Mundle

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – An economic diplomacy programme, jointly developed by the ministry of foreign affairs and foreign trade and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), to better engage with the country’s international partners on trade and investment matters, will be officially launched this month; Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, disclosed while addressing members of the diplomatic corps on Tuesday, March 3, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

She explained that the programme aims to improve alignment between the work undertaken by the foreign service in the execution of foreign policy and the strategic priorities established by the Government to drive development.

Senator Smith said that the emphasis on economic diplomacy “will require a more strategic, focused and collaborative approach, to ensure that Jamaica’s diplomatic assets and programmes are better leveraged to facilitate access to foreign markets for national businesses and to promote foreign direct investment”.

“It is important that we achieve more tangible results, particularly in these two areas that are critical to our economic growth and development agenda,” she pointed out.

She noted that as part of the objective, the government is taking a fresh look at its honorary consular network worldwide, to strengthen and expand the Ministry’s representation, promote Brand Jamaica, and seek trade and investment opportunities from targeted locations around the globe.

“We will continue, therefore, to review locations where there may be a need to strengthen existing capacity or to add new representation. We now have a network of 90 honorary consuls across all continents,” she said.

Minister Smith said that Jamaica will also intensify its efforts to promote trade and investment with key bilateral partners in the Caribbean through exploratory missions and high-level bilateral dialogue.

“Currently, efforts are underway to mount missions to the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Suriname, and Guyana. In keeping with this effort, we intend to establish and revitalise joint commissions with other Caribbean countries in which Jamaica has a strategic interest,” she said.

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