Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States and Chair of the Caribbean Caucus of Ambassadors, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, has approached White House Special Advisor to the US President, Ivanka Trump Kushner, seeking support to expand the Overseas Private Investment Corporation’s 2X Americas Latin America Women’s Initiative to the Caribbean countries.
Launched by Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump Kushner launched the OPIC2X Americas Initiative in April of this year, to mobilize $500 million in private capital to invest in projects that empower women in Latin America. That launch took place during the 3rd CEO Summit of the Americas, on the margins of the larger 8th Summit of the Americas of the heads of state and government of the Americas in Lima, Peru.
Worthy and timely initiative
Relating to the US presidential advisor how much of a boost such a program would give to Caribbean efforts to continue empowerment of the region’s women, the Jamaican Ambassador described the project as a very worthy and timely initiative to be promoted throughout the Caribbean region – itself representing a population of over 40 million persons, of which 50 percent are women.
Ambassador Marks who is also the CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors chairperson, further stressed how the Caribbean region had made significant strides in gender equality and equity and in empowering women, having elected five female Prime Ministers including former Jamaican Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller and the recently elected Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley.
Caribbean is being ignored
She took the opportunity to also explain that as the widely touted “US Third Border,” the Caribbean was deemed a very important partner on a wide range of issues but, regrettably, had been ignored for many years. As such, launching the proposed OPIC2X programme in the region would serve to “further strengthen our cooperation in gender empowerment and equality and make a greater difference in overall Caribbean-US relationship,” the Ambassador told Ms. Trump.
Ambassador Marks made the case to Ms. Trump during a conversation between the two, before she addressed a forum at the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) on Tuesday, August 28, on the topic “Financial Empowerment of Women for the Sustainable Social and Economic Development of the Americas.”
In her address to the OAS forum, Ms. Trump herself argued that the world and the hemisphere would be more prosperous and at peace if women were more able to fully participate in the global economy. She noted that although women represented an untapped resource for accelerating growth, they still faced obstacles like limited access to markets and capital as well as legal and cultural barriers in their own countries.
The US President’s senior advisor remarked that it was in a bid to address this anomaly that she had been a strong supporter of OPIC’s 2X America’s Latin America Women’s Initiative.
Established in 1971, OPIC is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets.