KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday February 12, 2015, CMC – Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has called for unity and increased partnership among countries in order to advance sustainable development.
“We recognize that a collective response in the global spirit of cooperation and concern for each other’s welfare will ensure that we leave a lasting and sustainable legacy,” she told members of the diplomatic corps.
Addressing a ceremony at the University of the west indies (UWI) here as part of Diplomatic Week 2015, Prime Minister Simpson Miller said her administration values its partnership “with you and your countries as being critical to our achievement of sustainable development for the people of Jamaica and of your countries”.
She said that despite the challenges, there have been some encouraging developments within the international arena, including signs of recovery from the financial crisis and a decline in global oil prices.
She said these developments call for renewed partnership between the government and all stakeholders and with the public and private sectors.
“We have to strive to enhance the gains from foreign trade and substantially increase our exports of goods and services,” she said.
The Prime Minister urged the international community to look to Jamaica as a viable place to invest, noting that with the gains being made under the country’s economic reform programme, “Jamaica remains open to doing local and global business on an even bigger scale than before”.
Diplomatic week is being observed here with the theme “Building Partnerships for Sustainable Development”.
In his address, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, A.J. Nicholson, said Jamaica continues to place a high value on the relations it enjoys with its international partners particularly in the area of trade.
He said that the ratio of foreign trade to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013 was 88.4 per cent, which underlines the openness of the Jamaican economy.
“Most jobs in Jamaica are linked, directly or indirectly, to foreign trade. It is recognised, therefore, that Jamaica cannot attain robust and sustained economic growth without a significant up-turn in exports to trading partners, traditional and new.”