Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Franklyn to lead new thrust with Jamaicans abroad
Observer Reporter
Friday, November 08, 2002



Minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade KD Knight (right) outlining the duties of his new minister of state, Delano Franklyn at a recent press conference in Kingston. (Photo: Michael Gordon)

NEWLY appointed minister of state in the ministry of foreign affairs and foreign trade, Senator Delano Franklyn, is to spearhead government's latest outreach programme involving Jamaicans living overseas.

Foreign affairs and trade minister, K D Knight made the announcement on Wednesday during a press conference at the ministry's head office in New Kingston.

"We are placing special emphasis on how we can get Jamaicans (living) overseas to own part of Jamaica (because) they can play an important role in advancing the economy," remarked Knight.

Traditionally the foreign affairs ministry has focussed on facilitating the return of Jamaicans to the island by easing bureaucratic restrictions including the establishment of a special unit some years ago to deal directly with returning residents.

"We need to go beyond welfare issues," said Knight.

Franklyn, who was chief advisor to Prime Minister PJ Patterson during the previous administration, underscored the importance of seeking to involve Jamaicans overseas in the country's economic development.

He said he planned to harness and build on the fact that Jamaicans overseas remitted significant levels of foreign exchange to the island and acted as the face of the nation abroad.

"My plan is to improve significantly on those two areas, not just by being a facilitator of remittances," advised Franklyn but being able, in a real way, to attract Jamaicans overseas as investors and to attract the friend of these Jamaicans as investors."

According to the junior foreign minister he intends to promote the synergies between several ministries including the foreign affairs/trade, industry and tourism, national security and agriculture in trying to improve the investment face of Jamaica abroad with the ultimate goal of creating jobs.

Franklyn's specific areas of responsibility, as outlined by Knight include:

-Bilateral agreements between Jamaica and countries such as Cuba and the Dominican Republic;

-Negotiations for establishing a Caribbean Court of Justice.

-Hemispheric groupings such as the Association of American States (ACS); Organisation of American States (OAS) and Latin American and Economic Systems;

-Maritime and economic Matters.

Last week during the swearing in of junior ministers at Kings House, Patterson instructed ministers to give their deputies specific responsibilities and to allow them room to perform their duties.