Home African Caribbean Jamaica Diaspora consultant says, ‘the world is watching’

Western Bureau:

Despite Jamaica’s high crime rate and the high cost of energy, diaspora consultant Denis St Bernard sees Jamaica as an attractive option to investors in the global marketplace, but he thinks the Government is not utilising the wealth of resources available among Jamaican expatriates.

“Jamaica does not have a monopoly on crime and violence,” said St Bernard.

“People who see an opportunity and want to seriously invest will do so. Crime and violence is a problem all over the world.”

He added: “… Despite all that is happening, Jamaica continues to be an attractive option.”

Denis St Bernard Photo courtesy httpjamaica gleanercom

Denis St Bernard. Photo courtesy http://jamaica-gleaner.com

In speaking to Jamaica’s global attractiveness, which St Bernard thinks could spur investment, the businessman said the way outsiders perceive Jamaica is far different from how locals see the island.

“The eyes that people from other countries see Jamaica through are far different from what those who live here see,” said St Bernard. “If you are lost in the middle of an African jungle and you say Bob Marley or Usain Bolt, everybody knows where you are from.”

St Bernard, a renowned international business development consultant, entrepreneur and freelance journalist, is part of the United Kingdom delegation to the Sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference 2015, which is now taking place in Montego Bay, St James, under the theme ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora: Linking for Growth and Prosperity’.

According to the 58-year-old businessman, who is also the founder and CEO of the 18-year-old firm, Priority Group International, which has its headquarters in Kingston, the cost of doing business locally is arguably the greatest impediment to growth.


Catalyst for change

“We just brought in a Nigerian company who has invested more than $300 million in Jamaica already and is set to provide 50 to 100 employment opportunities over the next 12 months,” said St Bernard, whose firm specialises in providing support services, including business facilitation to the global market.

“I want to be a catalyst for change, and there are many more Jamaicans living abroad that would love to play their part in the transformational process,” he added.

However, like many other stakeholders in the diaspora, St Bernard is unhappy with the attitude being displayed towards persons in the diaspora, who have a wealth of resources available to benefit Jamaica.

“Both sides (Government and Opposition) play politics, but they can do so at their own peril or choose to capitalise on the opportunities provided to grow the country,” the businessman said, drawing reference to criticism that the biennial event was just a talk shop. Article courtesy http://jamaica-gleaner.com



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