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US President Pledges Support For Jamaica

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President of the United States (US), Barack Obama, has expressed strong support for the Jamaican Government and people and for the continued development of the “special relationship” that exists between the countries.

He was accepting Letters of Credence from Jamaica’s first female Ambassador to the US, Audrey Marks, at the White House on Monday (June 28).

The US President said he had enjoyed meeting with Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding in Canada last weekend at the G8 Summit in Canada, and understood “the importance of what the Government of Jamaica is doing.” He said that the country could look forward to his full support.

On the role of the Jamaican Diaspora in the US, President Obama said Jamaicans had taken advantage of opportunities to “acquire a wide range of professional and technical skills (and) to rise to positions of leadership within business, government and the non-profit sector. It is as a result of this that they have been able to make such a significant contribution to the development of the United States.”

In presenting her credentials to President Obama, Ambassador Marks, who was accompanied by her husband, Jassel Dunstan and their daughters Morgan and Madison, said Jamaica remained committed to deepening “the bonds of friendship and the ties of co-operation that have united our peoples for so many years,” and to build on existing relationships on the economic and security fronts, which would serve to aid Jamaica’s progress and development.

Ambassador Marks identified the areas of trade and investment as key components of the partnership between Jamaica and the US.

She told the US President that the Government of Jamaica would continue to actively work with the Jamaican Diaspora to “jointly stimulate greater growth in our economy, such as through the identification of opportunities for joint venture arrangements that will expand the quantity of foreign direct investment that originates from the United States.”

Ambassador Marks, who assumed duties on May 17, 2010 is the founder of Paymaster Jamaica, Ltd. Prior to her assignment as Ambassador, Ms. Marks served on several private sector boards including as deputy chairman of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC); chairman of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDC); director of the board of RBTT Securities Limited; and as board member of the National Health Fund.

Ambassador Marks holds the distinction of being the first female president of the Jamaica American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM).

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