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Jamaica’s Ambassador Calls for Concessional Financing For Middle Income Countries

by Derrick Scott

[LOS ANGELES] – Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks has reiterated a call for access to concessional financing for middle income countries. Especially if Jamaica and other developing countries are to create an enabling environment for investment.

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks at Summit of the Americas
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks ( Photo Derrick Scott)

Addressing the First Ministerial Level Implementation Review Group of the Summit of the Americas at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles California, on Wednesday June 8, 2022 Ambassador Marks noted that “Jamaica and other developing countries understand that investment is an important catalyst for our development, job creation and increased foreign exchange flows.”

She said in light of this we are committed to the creation of an enabling investment environment. Especially through a series of financial and non-financial policies and the creation of a new economic space.

However, she said, “In order to do so, our access to concessional financing must be treated with the utmost priority in spite of our classification as upper middle-income countries.”

Eradicating Poverty

“The issue of Social Inclusion and eradication of poverty must be among our top priorities,” she said.   “We must continue to advocate for greater involvement of women in all areas of national development.  The thrust of the 2030 agenda for global transformation ensuring no one is left behind, calls for action to enhance the quality of life in all sectors of society. This includes vulnerable groups that are consistently marginalised including women and girls,” the Jamaican Ambassador emphasized.

“We are convinced that providing our people, particularly our youth   with education and skills training to cope with global demands is of vital importance.  That is why, we are taking important steps to focus on science and technology, digital transformation, environmental protection and greater social inclusion,” she advised.

“Our aim is to transition to low carbon renewable energy without prejudice to our economic development. We are all mindful that one of the deferring challenges of our time is that of the issue of climate change. And, the global rise in temperatures.

“We are heartened by developments and decisions of the COP 26. But, much more needs to be done through climate financing to foster greater resilience, particularly to natural disasters,” the Jamaican envoy pointed out.

Transnational Crime

Ambassador Marks told the hemispheric summit that “Our region continues to grapple with transnational organised crime. As a result, it undermines our development targets. The trafficking and flow in small arms into our hemisphere, human trafficking, and illegal migration. In addition, increases in crime and gang violence mainly perpetuated by un-attached youth continues to be of serious concerns.”

Impact of COVID-19

“The peace and security of our hemisphere is the future of our hemisphere.  It is therefore imperative that we continue to strengthen our partnerships to collectively develop strategies to address these challenges and mitigate external shocks,” she declared.

Ambassador Marks pointed out that the region was seeking “to recover from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our economies. Plus, more recently the war in Europe.  The pandemic resulted in a severe blow, particularly to our tourism, education and health sectors.

“We are acutely aware that the past several months have seen exponential increases in energy and food prices. In addition, disruption in supply chains and a slowdown in economic growth. Coupled with a high debt burden, black-listing and de-risking of some of our CARICOM member states. Plus, the persistent existential threat of climate change.

Summit of the Americas

Ambassador Marks told the Ministerial that “the strength and success of the Summit of the Americas process rests in part, on our ability to work together. Specifically to build consensus around a viable partnership and an effective implementation strategy.”

“We know that the responsibility is great, but as partners we can strengthen our joint action by working together.  Our presence here today, therefore, provides us with an opportunity to recommit ourselves to the vision of a stronger hemispheric partnership,” she concluded.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is leading Jamaica’s delegation to the summit. He is supported by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Senator Aubyn Hill. In addition, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks.

 

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