The Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) has estimated that Jamaica is losing US$12.8 billion annually in unexploited revenue from the diaspora, the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) hopes to double the number of Jamaicans investing on the stock market by 2019.
“You have a choice as to where you put your money — Wall Street or Harbour Street.” attorney-at-law Marlon Hill told members of the diaspora who gathered at the JSE for a closing bell ringing ceremony on Wednesday. The event formed part of the week-long Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, which focused on issues affecting Jamaicans living overseas while exploring how the public and private sector could create a more efficient system to capitalize on untapped revenues from the diaspora.
“If you love GraceKennedy products, why not invest in the company? The bread, biscuits, logistics — all of them are listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange and its only US$100 to open an account with the JSE. (JamaicaObserver)
Isn’t it remarkable just how much Jamaicans at home value the diaspora when the issue of money comes up?
Don’t get me wrong investing in our homeland is noble, investing for the future a no-brainer. Where much of the Jamaican community loses me is in their staunch posturing by linking the fact that they live on the Island with patriotism.
I mean listening to some of them I sometimes have to pinch myself and rehearse my Jamaica accent in the mirror, just to convince myself that I am still Jamaican.
Never mind my service to my country or the fact that I took a bullet in the process.
It appears the single defining characteristic for being a worthwhile red-blooded genuine Jamaican is having never left or having left and was unceremoniously returned on a one-way flight.
That said, the call to invest in the local stock exchange will not garner the result it should when the country is viewed in the dim corruption light in which many Jamaicans abroad view the Island.
The corruption and malfeasance which flows from the top of the stream are certainly not lost on anyone, certainly not members of the diaspora.
In fact, it was the corruption and lack of opportunities which created a diaspora community which is now larger than the 2.7 million people living on the Island.
I wish to make it clear that no diaspora group speaks on my behalf and I know a bunch of people for whom they do not speak either.
Generally, these groups are the same bunch of elitist who runs the Island they just don’t live there anymore.
If this government and business sector would like to get our money what it, must do is stop coddling criminals.
I speak for myself and a lot of real Jamaicans when we say hell no, we will continue to invest in places where we are assured that criminals will not overthrow the state or that our investments won’t simply disappear.
At the moment we don’t have that assurance.
The Jamaican diaspora has suffered immensely at the hands of Patriots back home whose sole function is to figure out ways to bilk them of the proceeds of their hard work.
Much the same way the grudge-fullness and envy are causing the killings on the Island.