Sat | Apr 29, 2017

Preparing for the President

Published:Sunday | April 5, 2015 | 4:00 AM
Professor Densil A. Williams, Executive Director, Mona School of Business & Management
Ambassador Audrey Marks, Former Jamaican Ambassador to the United States and chief executive officer of Paymaster Jamaica
Dr Jermain McCalpin, Lecturer, Transitional Justice and Political Institutions, Department of Government UWI, Mona
Robert Finzi-Smith, Director of Safety and Security at the University of Technology
United States President Barack Obama
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As the official visit of United States President Barack Obama draws closer, The Sunday Gleaner recently asked persons at an Editors' Forum: "If you were the prime minister of Jamaica, what would you use the bilateral discussions with Obama to press home?"

Professor Densil A. Williams

Executive Director, Mona School of Business & Management

The visit by President Obama sends the message that Jamaica is a functioning democracy with a functioning market economy, therefore, we should piggyback on that message. So we should press home and say to the president, "We are open for business." Our macro-economy is stable and there are critical investment projects that we have under way such as the business process outsourcing industry, the logistics hub, agro-parks and try to generate interest in these programmes and essentially say to the president, "Are you willing to come with us?"

Dr Jermain McCalpin

Lecturer, Transitional Justice and Political Institutions, Department of Government UWI, Mona

I would re-emphasise to the president that we are partners and stress some of the initiatives that we can partner on such as the green energy initiative, investment cooperation, and the sort of things that will provide greater levels of economic opportunities and will mean less incentives for Jamaicans to leave in droves so that our society does not suffer from a decline in human capital.

Ambassador Audrey Marks

Former Jamaican Ambassador to the United States and chief executive officer of Paymaster Jamaica

Those bilateral discussions with the president give us an excellent opportunity to press home that as a major country on the United States' third border, we should remain very important in its geopolitical strategies and that we are especially interested now in forging stronger socio-economic partnerships.

Robert Finzi-Smith

Director of Safety and Security at the University of Technology

I would urge President Obama for greater assistance for Jamaica in areas such of alternative energy as these are key for our development.