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The Economic Imperatives For Jamaica, 2009

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The Jamaican Minister of Finance and the Public Service, the Hon. Audley Shaw, will headline the list of speakers for this year’s “Outlook for the Future” a series of economic forums, hosted by the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), under the theme, “The Economic Imperatives for Jamaica 2009.”

“I look forward to the opportunity for positive interaction and to share with Jamaicans in the Diaspora the vision of a peaceful and prosperous future for our country,” Minister Shaw said.

The forums, targeted to Jamaicans in the Diaspora, will start in the United Kingdom, on May 15 and 16; and continue in North America, with sessions in Florida and New York, USA, June 4 and 6; and Ontario, Canada, on June 26, according to Mr. Earl Jarrett, General Manager of Jamaica National.

“Since its inception in 2003, Outlook for the Future has become one of the primary vehicles for our national leaders to interact with a wide cross-section of Jamaicans in the Diaspora,” Mr. Jarrett pointed out, noting that, “This year’s forums are timely, because they follow immediately after the Budget Debate in Jamaica; and, therefore, offer a special context for meaningful dialogue.”

Commenting on the global financial fallout and its impact on Jamaica, Mr. Jarrett, who has been addressing the subject across the island, reasoned that, “If there was ever a time for dialogue with Jamaicans overseas, it is now. We want our people to fully appreciate the value of their remittances to relatives; and the unique opportunities that exist for real investment in tourism and other areas of our economy.”

He also said that based on the positive stance of participants in last year’s Jamaican Diaspora Conference in Kingston, he was confident that second and third generation Jamaicans overseas wanted to be more active in developmental initiatives in the country.

“In our more than 20 years of serving Jamaicans in the United Kingdom, Jamaica National has experienced benefits that have accrued to families through home ownership and education; and to pensioners, who continue to enjoy the fruits of their labour overseas, when they return to Jamaica,” he maintained.

In the United Kingdom, the forum will be held in Birmingham at the Council House, Birmingham City Council, Victoria Square, on Friday May 15, starting at 7:00 p.m.; and in London at the Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore, also at 7:00 p.m.

“Jamaicans in the Diaspora welcome the opportunity to receive first-hand information about current developments in their homeland,” Paulette Simpson, JNBS Chief Representative Officer in the United Kingdom stated. 

She pointed out that the direct interaction with key leaders, “Not only provides us with information about the economy; but, also reaffirms the supportive role that we in the Diaspora can play in promoting investment in Jamaica.”

This is the fifth year that Jamaica National has mounted “Outlook for the Future”. Over the years, leaders of the Government and key public sector Executives have headlined the forum. 

Some of the previous speakers in the series have included the current Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, when he was Leader of the Opposition; Dr. Omar Davies, former Minister of Finance and Planning; Dr. Peter Phillips, former Minister of National Security; Dr. Carlton Davis, former Cabinet Secretary; and Mr. Lucius Thomas, former Commissioner of Police.

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