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INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES MAIN AREA OF FOCUS AT DIASPORA CONFERENCE

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KINGSTON, Jan. 13 (JIS): Investment opportunities in Jamaica will be the main area of focus, when the sixth biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference is held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St. James, from June 13 to 18.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, said this emphasis will be a continuation of activities initially undertaken at the 2013 conference, and is in response to concerns which have been raised by persons in the Diaspora, mainly the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom, about the seeming lack of information about opportunities available to them.

Speaking at Monday’s (January 12) launch of the revamped Jamaica Association for the Resettlement of Returning Residents (JARRR) website, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, in downtown Kingston, Mr. Brown said based on discussions with persons residing in the three largest Diaspora communities, some have indicated that “they are not hearing about the investment opportunities in Jamaica…while others are saying that they are not hearing about the investment opportunities in (good) time.”

“This indicates that there is significant interest among Jamaicans (overseas) to invest in Jamaica…and their interest is welcome and ought to be facilitated. It is one of the reasons why we felt that the best place to begin to have a deeper dialogue about investment opportunities is in the context of the biennial conference,” the State Minister added.

Mr. Brown, who has responsibility for Diaspora Affairs, said it is against this background that the Government, through the Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Ministry, will partner with several private sector entities to stage the six-day conference.

These include: Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS), GraceKennedy Limited, and J. Wray & Nephew Limited.

The State Minister said these companies have “built out their network based on Diaspora engagement and locations.”

“This demonstrates the importance of members of the Jamaican community who live outside of Jamaica. We believe that they should have an opportunity to take full advantage of the many and varied investment products that are available in the country,” Mr. Brown emphasised.

Citing the success of the 2013 conference, the State Minister pointed out that the marketplace concept that was introduced at that conference, which facilitated networking among Jamaican businesses operating locally and overseas, will be expanded, adding that the concept has been fruitful.

“So, this year we are going to have (among our partners) the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA), Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Agro Investment Corporation (AIC), and the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and, of course, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) will be there with a one stop shop facility, where you can get everything you need done right there, and in (good) time,” he added.

The revamped website of the JARRR will cater to returning residents, other persons in the Diaspora, businesses and
other stakeholders, by providing direct linkages on products and services offered locally.
The site can be accessed at: www.ja-rrr.com.

Caribbean News

Barbados bestows Humanitarian Award on PAHO director Dr. Carissa Etienne 

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, November 25, 2022 – The newest recipient of Barbados’ Humanitarian Award is outgoing Pan American Health Organization Director, Dr Carissa Etienne.  The government of Barbados grants this award to frontline workers who were instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Etienne expressed her gratitude for the recognition, noting, however, that she was more grateful for the opportunity to have served on the island. She also praised Prime Minister, Mia Mottley for her diligence in leading the country and regional involvement during the pandemic.

Humanitarian medals were also given to Frontline workers who risked their own safety to ensure the needs of the public were met. Those who held supporting roles on the frontline received humanitarian lapel pins, and those who made generous donations were given humanitarian plaques.

Dr. Etienne highlighted one major lesson from the pandemic, “we are only safe when the weakest among us is also safe”.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – “We have a humanitarian concern of course but we can only absorb so much” was how Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service in The Bahamas addressed the issue of the UN constantly nudging Caribbean countries about the deportation of migrants and recommending that it not be done.

He was speaking Thursday November 24 with Cheryl and Zhavargo on First Edition which airs on RTC FM.

While acknowledging that the UN offices likely ‘have to do what they do’ Minister Mitchell  explained that the current irregular migrants trying to get into the Bahamas did not fit the bill of ‘refugees’ as defined by the UN.

“We have a treaty obligation that says that if people have a fear of persecution in their home country that we have an obligation to take them in as asylum seekers. The people who come through on these boats from the south of us are not asylum seekers. They are afraid of poverty and that’s a difficult issue but in a legal sense we’re not obligated to embrace people on that basis.”

He cited a study that had found, on any given day there were around 7,000 illegal migrants in The Bahamas trying to get to the US maintaining that his chain of islands had to take a stand on the issue.  The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that  TCI was in an identical situation, citing also the the cultural effects of irregular migration.

“There is a cleavage which has developed in our own society over this; people are very concerned that we could lose our identity if we do not get on top of it.”

Earlier this year Arlington “new sheriff in town” Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks and Caicos had described statements calling on surrounding countries to do more to assist persons fleeing Haiti as “reckless and misguided.”

“Haiti has a population of 11.6 million people. How could any small developing state like the Turks and Caicos Islands assist that number of people or even the smallest fraction of them? We have a population of some 47,000 persons, and our health care, education and other social systems remain fragile and could never withstand an influx of refugees. This would be a risk to our very own livelihood,” he had said.

He was interviewed in the same show on Thursday prior to Mitchell and expressed a similar determination to crack down on illegal migration.

“I want to stress this. If we catch anyone harbouring illegals, it could be my mommy, she’s going up. We cannot tolerate this. We’re catching the sloops so my Haitian brothers and sisters should stress to them don’t waste your money we’re sending you back.”

Turks and Caicos, this year passed a law, doubling fines and prison times for individuals harbouring illegal migrants.

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Bahamas News

Former Bahamian Cabinet minister defends record amid ongoing police investigation

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – Former Youth, Sports and Culture Minister, Lanisha Rolle is reportedly currently under investigation due to several allegations that came up during her tenure; she however knows nothing of this alleged criminal investigation.

After the minister resigned – unceremoniously –  in February 2021 with little explanation, the ministry was locked down by the Prime Minister for an audit of the National Sports Authority, which fell under her ministry.

Auditor General Terrance Bastin revealed that unauthorised contracts had been issued, some of which were later forwarded to the NSA for payment. Three cheques to contractors were also found, which were paid to individuals and then collected by a senior ministry official.

Despite the allegations, Rolle said she upheld cabinet standards and good governance during her tenure. She added that a minister is not always aware of “everything in a ministry at any given time.”

Rolle said she has not yet been approached by the RBPF regarding the audit findings.  Having served as a member of the Police Force for 11 years herself, Rolle told a crush of media on Wednesday (November 23) that she continues to trust that they will follow the legal process and in due time, the truth of her innocence will be revealed.

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