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Diaspora to assist with business opportunities

Published:Tuesday | July 13, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

MEMBERS OF the Jamaican Diaspora have offered to assist in the packaging of business opportunities in Trelawny in light of new tourism developments in the parish.

"We look at the opportunities that are here in Jamaica and bring those investors that might be able to advance and improve the livelihood of locals here," Donahue Bailey of the Jamaican Diaspora revealed during a recent Gleaner Editors' Forum at Breezes Trelawny Resort and Spa.

In less than six months, the world's largest cruise ship will dock at the newly constructed, historic Falmouth port where some 6296 passengers and 2165 crew will have an opportunity to experience Trelawny, its people and history.

Other tourism projects on stream for the parish include the Harmony Cove development, which is poised to be a premier luxury destination. Tavistock Group, in partnership with the Jamaican Government, will develop several hotels, three world-class golf courses, a gaming lounge and other luxury facilities at a cost of approximately US$7 billion

"The Diaspora has seven sectors, one of which is trade where we package investment opportunities here in Jamaica," Bailey disclosed. "In regards to the port, we approached Royal Caribbean directly and we are bringing in four business ventures, and within those ventures we have Jamaicans on board including locals," he added.

Although unable to reveal the nature of these business ventures, as they are still in infancy stages, Bailey said the Diaspora movement was "bursting at the seams" to assist fellow Jamaicans. He said state agencies needed to advise the Diaspora where it could be of assistance.

Member of parliament for North Trelawny Dr Patrick Harris told the forum that no particular agency was dedicated to harnessing business opportunities from ongoing development projects in the parish.

"Is there an agency that is packaging investment opportunities, so that someone from outside can come in and get a ready-made investment opportunity to exploit? No, that is not happening," Dr Harris admitted.