The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, (PSOJ) hosted its Mingle at the private residence of the British High Commissioner, Asif Ahmad.
“I readily volunteered to host you here for the first Members’ Mingle for this year, because we want to do more with Jamaica on the business front and I speak with the credentials as a former banker. In the past I worked with small businesses that were looking to grow and improve the country”, said Ahmad.
The British High Commissioner renewed the call that the United Kingdom is committed to working with Jamaica as the country grows and prospers and the United Kingdom supported this stance with an investment of £55 Million Pounds – the single largest overseas development assistance of any kind. This investment is directly geared towards the nations agriculture sector.
His Excellency, Ahmad believes that “there are areas of cash crops that Jamaica hasn’t fully explored and we want to have that discussion and work with you. The commitment that the UK is making, is that we want to be with you as this country grows and prospers and this time around it won’t be like short honeymoons that ended when we left and joined the European Union. We talk to our people and today is a very important day as this morning I saw a letter signed by three of our Secretaries of State which is the Foreign Secretary, the Trade Secretary and the Aid Secretary.”
This is what the High Commissioner says is an effort by the UK to reach out to the Commonwealth. “We are genuinely looking at the Commonwealth of which you are a part and other places which we may have neglected and that is one of our mission, to reach out again to our partners.”
“The first thing we want to do is encourage Jamaica to sell more to the UK and we can make that happen in many different ways and largely that is what you have to do on your own steam. I don’t want to dwell on the challenges here but, what we are really seeing is there is a real desire by government and by businesses to move in a more progressive direction and we will be partners as we do it but beyond that, we see opportunities for the UK to do more here” added High Commissioner, Ahmad.
He ended by reminding the members of the PSOJ present that: “We need to get back direct trade and foreign relations, watch us work and deliver this with you. I’ll leave the rest to the PSOJ to encourage you to pay your dues. I enjoy speaking to the senior figures at the PSOJ and we see you as allies in what we are trying to do, because the job of government in the UK and elsewhere should be to get out of the way of businesses so you can do what you want to do, pay your taxes so we as a government can do what we need to do.”
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