Jamaicans in the diaspora, representatives of federal and state government and members of the diplomatic core were on hand to officially welcome Jamaica’s new ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Ralph Thomas, at a reception held in his honour at the St. Gregory Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, October 8.
In his first public address, Ambassador Thomas called on members of the diaspora to seize the opportunity to participate more fully in the development and growth of Jamaica.
This, he said could be done by engaging in wealth creation and investment, an important role that is being performed by foreign investors, but which can be broaden to include diaspora investors.
The ambassador pointed out that there were a myriad of investment opportunities that are now available in Jamaica that diaspora members could avail themselves of.
The Ambassador further stated that the government is committed to see that the road of the Jamaican Diaspora fully evolves as a centerpiece for national development strategy.
“I will be working with the diaspora to build bridges and connections between people, communities, institutions and government to connect with Jamaica in different ways so that they can benefit from these opportunities that currently exist with respect to the issue of economic empowerment,” he said.
He added that he firmly believes that much more can be done as we collectively seek to improve the wellbeing of Jamaicans in the diaspora, as well as in Jamaica.
Ambassador Thomas used the opportunity to laud the diaspora for continuing to provide invaluable support and assistance to the process of nation building in Jamaica.
“Today, I formally on behalf of the government and people of Jamaica express sincere thanks to you members of the diaspora for all that you have done and will continue to do in the years to come for the Jamaica people everywhere,” he said.
Maryland Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam presented Ambassador Thomas with a State of Maryland Resolution officially welcoming him to his new post.