National News

Ambassador Audrey Marks Touts Jamaica’s Economic Recovery

By Derrick Scott

Washington, DC – Touting important steps in the right direction Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States says her country is on the right track towards economic recovery.

Ambassador Audrey Marks gave the update as she delivered the keynote address at the 8th annual fundraiser black tie gala for New Jersey-based HELP Jamaica Medical Mission. The event was held on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at Hanover Manor in East Hanover, New Jersey , where Ambassador Marks reported Jamaica’s unemployment at its lowest in 50 years – 8.4%. “We now have 1.2 million Jamaicans gainfully employed and our Stock Market has outperformed the world.”

Recipient of the organization’s 2018 Distinguished Presidential Award, for her outstanding contribution to Jamaica and the diaspora, Ambassador Marks told the more than 450 attendees that “We’re now achieving 22% growth average when compared to 2016, when it was only 2%.

Jamaica’s debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio to 105 per cent, based on current trend this will fall below 100 per cent by the end of the current fiscal year in March 2019.” She added that her country’s international credit rating has moved from stable to positive, with the net international reserves now totaling US$31.1 billion.

The Ambassador further pointed out that the Bank of Jamaica was lowering the Policy Interest Rate to 2%, indicative of the eighth consecutive decrease of 50 basis points since 2016, which means, “We are providing an environment whereby access to financing and credit can be leveraged into growth.”

She also stated more than 200 roads as well as general infrastructure projects valued at millions of dollars have been executed over the last 2 years, resulting in the highest consumer confidence in 16 years.

On the tourism front, the Ambassador reported that last year Jamaica welcomed over 4.3 million visitors, spending US$3 billion. “This year we are projecting to welcome over 5 million visitors.  So we currently enjoy one of the highest rates of repeat visitors in the world.  Because of your continued visits, our tourist industry now employs over 120,000 persons and contributes over 53% of the foreign exchange inflows.”

As regards to the worrying crime situation, the Ambassador reassured the guests at the gala event that the country was making significant progress in curbing this scourge, evidenced in a 21% decrease in homicides. She went on to explain: “More importantly, crime is a symptom of underlying socio-economic issues and the Government of Jamaica is fixing those issues.”

Ambassador Audrey Marks Touts Jamaica’s Economic Recovery
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks (3rd from left) is flanked by HELP Medical Mission of New Jersey founding member Dr. Rudolph Willis; HELP Jamaica President Dr. Robert Clarke; and former diaspora advisory board member for North East USA, attorney Joan Pinnock; Chairman of HELP Jamaica Medical Mission, Dr. Richard Constable; and Vice Consul at Jamaica’s Consulate, Ms. Denise Donaldson.

Turning to the contributions of Jamaicans abroad, Ambassador declared herself truly inspired by the generosity of members of the Jamaican Diaspora who continue to relentlessly support those in needs in our beloved homeland. “Your contributions, whether through the development of human capital, remittances or charitable donations, have been critical in supporting the achievement of national development goals and objectives.  You can be assured that the Government of Jamaica values the contributions of Jamaicans in the Diaspora and will continue to seek to enhance our engagement with you, to mutual benefit,” said Ambassador Marks.

Ambassador Audrey Marks Touts Jamaica’s Economic Recovery
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks (center) proudly displays her 2018 HELP Jamaica Medical Mission Distinguished Presidential Award, along fellow awardees, from L to R, Humanitarian awardee Dr. Leon Dick and Community Service awardee, CEO of East Orange General Hospital, Paige Dworak.

South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

Related Articles

Back to top button