HILLARY CLINTON HAS AN “IDEA” ABOUT THE DIASPORA
NEW YORK (June 30, 2011) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wants to see stronger linkages between the Caribbean and its overseas-based nationals.
Addressing a High-Level Caribbean-U.S. Conference last week in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the former First Lady underscored the power of the diaspora and stressed the importance of tapping into its potential.
“People of Caribbean descent have made a powerful contribution to every country in which they have settled, of course, including my own. But they are also a major source of support for their country of origin, particularly through remittances,” Clinton observed.
But there are other ways that the diaspora community’s resources can be harnessed, she believes, especially with the great store of talent, energy, and entrepreneurial spirit in the Caribbean.
To tap this potential, the State Department has launched the “International Diaspora Engagement Alliance” or IDEA which brings together governments, corporations, and nonprofit organizations to make it easier for diaspora communities to promote trade and investment, to start businesses, or develop other projects that will benefit their countries of origin.
“We have chosen the Caribbean to be the first region to demonstrate the impact of this alliance. So we are launching the Caribbean IDEA marketplace to foster collaboration between local entrepreneurs and members of the Caribbean diaspora. We hope that by working together we can create jobs and stimulate investment, and this marketplace will offer diaspora communities access to capital as well as technical assistance to help them get started if they are committed to invest in the country of origin,” Clinton announced.
Last week, Secretary Clinton traveled to Guatemala City to participate in the International Conference of Support for the Central American Security Strategy. Central American heads of state and international partners attended the conference. She traveled later to Montego Bay, Jamaica to meet with her Caribbean counterparts.
Before leaving she thanked the Inter-American Development Bank, Digicel and Scotiabank for their assistance in launching the innovative program. “You will be hearing more about it from some of the people who are helping to make it happen, and we will be inviting more partners from the private and nonprofit sectors to join us,” she added.
The Secretary of State is the President’s chief foreign affairs adviser and carries out the President’s foreign policies through the State Department and the Foreign Service of the United States.
CAPTION: Secretary Clinton meets with Jamaican Foreign Minister, Dr. Kenneth Baugh. State Department Image.