Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness is encouraging members of the Jamaican Diaspora to take advantage of the investment opportunities in the country.
While addressing the virtual diaspora symposium on June 16, Prime Minister Holness noted that over the last year, the tourism sector suffered billion-dollar losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But according to Holness, Jamaica was able to maintain its foreign currency cash-flow because of the diaspora’s contribution to their loved ones on the island.
“With our foreign exchange inflows from tourism being decimated, remittances from our diaspora have been invaluable in maintaining our balance of payments as well as our net international reserves, which remain buoyant at over US$3 billion,” he said.
“There could be no clearer testimony of the depth of the support of the diaspora for their families in Jamaica, even during the most challenging times of the pandemic,” the Prime Minister added.
Holness said that beyond sending remittances, the diaspora continues to promote trade, establish businesses and spur entrepreneurship on the island. But he says there is still more to be done. The Prime Minister says that the diaspora has not yielded its full potential in avenues of investments on the island.
“There are so many areas in which we would welcome the investment of the diaspora. It is not just about sending your remittances. There are real business opportunities in Jamaica that we encourage you to take advantage of,” he said.
“We are seeing massive interest, including from Jamaicans who are serious about making investments in this area, and we would invite members of our diaspora… to set up a small hotel or set up a large resort development… to consider coming home and making these investments,” Holness encouraged.
The Prime Minister noted, for example, that another way the Jamaican Diaspora can invest in the country is to “own a piece of Jamaica” with the purchase of homes. He said that the diaspora should also consider investing in companies, and other areas like cyberspace and infrastructure.