My fellow Jamaicans in the Diaspora,
I am pleased to extend warm greetings to you as we celebrate another Christmas, “the most wonderful time of the year!”
For Jamaicans everywhere, Christmas is that special time of year which radiates a nostalgic feeling for reuniting with family, friends and loved ones, participating in various festivities and exchanging of gifts, while not losing sight of the real meaning of Christmas – hope bestowed upon humanity through the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas 2017 is no different. However, from our historical perspective, 2017 signaled a milestone year in Jamaica’s development – the 55th anniversary of the independence – birth of our beloved homeland. During this year, we focused on “Celebrating Jamaicans at home and abroad”. While acknowledging the continued challenges of socioeconomic development, we paused to give thanks for what we have achieved in just five and a half decades of nationhood.
Having implemented myriad macroeconomic reforms, the offshoots of recovery are evident in the economy’s ten consecutive quarters of growth, record levels of employment and increased output in most industries. In addition, there has been an increase in external demand for some of Jamaica’s goods and services and growth in non-traditional exports.
This, against the backdrop of a globally tumultuous year which has resulted in geo-political shifts within and beyond the Western hemisphere. Closer home, many of our neighbours in the Caribbean Region continue to grapple with the damage wreaked by the recent hurricanes during what was an inordinately active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. We are grateful that Jamaica was spared on this occasion. However, let us continue to keep our neighbours in our thoughts and prayers as we continue to facilitate their recovery, rebuilding and resilience efforts.
In “Celebrating Jamaicans at home and abroad”, I must take this opportunity to convey, on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, deepest appreciation for your continued strategic engagement in nation building. I continue to be inspired by the benevolence of Jamaicans in the Diaspora who continue to give selflessly and sacrificially, to enhance the welfare and transform the lives of our fellow citizens back home.
Your patriotic fervor and dedication to providing support to communities from which you originate, notwithstanding the time and distance, reflects the warmth for which Jamaicans have been renowned and the true essence of the Jamaican spirit. As conveyed at the Jamaica ‘55 Diaspora Conference held in Kingston earlier this year, many thanks for supporting the mission to build a better Jamaica, land we love.
On behalf of the staff of the Embassy, I wish for you and yours, a peaceful and holy Christmas and a prosperous 2018.