Highlights From The 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference

The 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference was held in the island's second city, Montego Bay, from June 16-19, 2013. The conference, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), was officially opened by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller at a reception held at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa on the 16th. The event then moved to the Montego Bay Convention Centre for the remaining days.

The conference featured more than 30 investors from the United Kingdom and North America, who were among the record 700 attendees registered. The investors were looking at a number of sectors, including information and communication technology (ICT), business process outsourcing (BPO), the creative industries, manufacturing and agro-processing. This was in keeping with the organisers' focus on encouraging relations between local and diaspora Jamaicans in a bid to help drive economic growth. 

Attendees to the conference were able to participate in daily sessions dealing with hot button topics such as education, health, social investment, philanthropy, leadership, innovation and more, as well as network in the marketplace, where some 40 local businesses and organisations displayed their offerings.

Below, diGJamaica.com rounds up some of the top stories coming out of the conference.

Day 1

5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference: Speech By A.J. Nicholson, Minister Of Foreign Affairs. I am convinced that when the history of our times is written, this conference will represent a turning point in our approach to development, where the value of partnership and unity will be recognized and applauded… Read more

Focus On Vision 2030 Jamaica At Diaspora Conference. A key focus of discussions and deliberations during this year's fifth staging of the Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, from June 16 to 19, in Montego Bay, St. James, will be the country's long-term National Development Plan, Vision 2030 Jamaica… Read more

Jamaican Diaspora Conference Participants Turning Up Pressure On Gov't. A Jamaican working overseas says any thrust by Jamaica to capitalise on the lucrative global health tourism market, must be driven by the government if it is to be successful… Read more

Diaspora Central To Jamaica's Progress: PM. Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller says that engagement of the Government with Jamaicans overseas is central to the country’s advancement… Read more

Diaspora Bond Faces Roadblock. Plans by the Jamaican Government to tap the vast resources of its diaspora through the floating of a bond to fund development projects across the island have hit a snag, the Government has revealed… Read more

'Tap Small Investments'. Phillip Mascoll, an executive member of the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation, has called for the Government to allow for an egalitarian approach to investment as it seeks to woo the diaspora… Read more

Jamaica Must Focus More On Health Tourism – Mascoll. Health tourism is one of the most important yet overlooked areas that Jamaica needs to place greater focus on, says Phillip Mascoll, executive member of the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation… Read more


Day 2

Jamaica Travelling Along Business-Friendly Path. In seeking to project Jamaica as a business-friendly destination, Julian Robinson, state minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, has indicated that investors could have their operations up and running within four to six months of expressing an interest in investing… Read more

Diaspora Conference: ‘Gov't Should Lead Health Tourism’. A Jamaican working overseas says any thrust by Jamaica to capitalise on the lucrative global health tourism market, must be driven by the government if it is to be successful… Read more


Day 3

Meet Us Halfway. Overseas J'cans Urge Gov't To Make It Easier To Do Business. Jamaicans in the diaspora want their local counterparts to change the mindset of how they conduct business with them… Read more

Don't Quote Us In US Dollars – Diaspora Rep. Participants at the 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, which is now taking place in Montego Bay, St James, are complaining that they are being quoted in United States (US) dollars when attempting to do transactions in the island's resort areas… Read more

JAS President Urges Diaspora Members To Invest In Agriculture. President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Norman Grant, has called on members of the Jamaican Diaspora to invest in the country’s agricultural sector… Read more

Diaspora Recommends Fast-Tracking Shipping Of Health Care Items. Delegates at the fifth biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference have called on the Ministry of Health to put measures in place to ensure that medical supplies donated by members of the diaspora no longer languish at Jamaican wharves after they are shipped from abroad… Read more


After The Conference

Diaspora Conference Facilitated 240 Business Meetings. Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Arnaldo Brown, has reported that 240 business meetings were facilitated at the 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference… Read more

Three Receive GG's Jamaica Diaspora Award Of Excellence. Three nationals living overseas have been honoured with the Governor-General’s Jamaica Diaspora Award of Excellence, and inducted into the Governor-General’s Diaspora Hall of Fame… Read more

Diaspora Jamaica Conference Delivered, Says State Minister. State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Arnaldo Brown has said that at least four concrete deliverables have been achieved at the fifth biennial Diaspora Jamaica Conference… Read more

We're Ready To Invest – Members Of The Diaspora Signal Intent To Finance Projects. Following the 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, at least three Jamaican expatriates have shown interest to invest in their home country… Read more

Diaspora Educators Ready To Fill Gaps In Jamaica. Member of the Diaspora Board, in the United States, Professor Susan Davis, says education experts exist in the Jamaican overseas community, and are ready to fill gaps in the system that have been identified by the Ministry of Education… Read more

Advisory Body Appointed To Streamline Health Missions To Jamaica. Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, announced the setting up of an Advisory Body on Diaspora affairs, to work on the streamlining of medical missions to Jamaica; and the appointment of Liaison Officers at all public hospitals… Read more

JNSBL Unveils Island's First Crowd-Funding Website. The island's micro entrepreneurs will, by next month, have access to funding through a global portal being established by the nation's leading microfinance company, JN Small Business Loans Limited (JNSBL)… Read more

Diaspora Connects With Young, Inner-City Entrepreneurs. Efforts are being made to connect Jamaicans abroad with inner-city youth across the country… Read more