|Hon K.D. Knight (left), Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade makes a point to the Hon. Aloun N’Dombet Assamba, Minister of Industry & Tourism and Mr. Arnold Foote, Dean of the Consular Corps of Jamaica, at a Press Conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on January 7, 2004, to announce that Jamaica will host the 8th World Congress of Consuls in 2006.
“Let me begin by congratulating the Dean of the Consular Corps of Jamaica, Mr. Arnold Foote, on his recent election as a Director of FICAC and Chairman of both the Membership Committee and the Public Relations Committee,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Hon. K. D. Knight, as he addressed the Press Conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Wednesday, January 7, 2004.
“Dean,” he continued, “it is an indication that your work is recognized both locally and internationally, and I have no doubt that you will use all opportunities available to you through your new offices to promote Jamaica and create strong partnerships that will inure to the benefit of the country. I also want to commend the members of the Consular Corps for supporting you in your efforts and for working together to give new meaning to the work of the Consular representative.
“I am very heartened by the accomplishments of the Consular Corps and with every challenge that I have issued, you have responded positively.
“Today, I am here to announce another major accomplishment of the Jamaican Consular Corps, that is pregnant with opportunities for Jamaica.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Jamaica is honoured to have been chosen as the next venue for the 8th World Congress of Consuls in 2006, and I must once again highly commend the Corps on this achievement; simultaneously I offer my sincere appreciation to the countries that supported Jamaica’s bid to host the Congress.
“As the Dean indicated, there are over 20,000 Consuls worldwide in 158 countries. It is expected that through the staging of this conference in October 2006, Jamaica will welcome more than 1,000 delegates to our shores. Some of these visitors, it is hoped, will return to Jamaica with their families on vacation, thus making a contribution to our tourism industry.
“Hosting representatives of Consular Corps from around the world, which largely represent leading members of the international business community, will also allow for networking which could open more trade opportunities for Jamaica.
“Trade and investment promotion is an important component of Jamaica’s foreign policy and the Consular Corps has already signaled its commitment through the successful staging of the recent International Trade Expo in Kingston. We have welcomed inward missions coordinated by the Corps and participated in missions to your countries through your initiatives.
“These initiatives represent the kings of partnerships which will complement the Government’s efforts to attain sustainable economic growth and create wealth.
Summit in Mexico
“…I will be participating in a Special Summit of the Americas in Monterrey, Mexico. At this meeting, Heads of State of the 34 member countries of the OAS will confront the current economic, social and political challenges of the Region.
“Our areas of focus include security threats to economic development, support for MICRO, small and medium-sized enterprises, special and differential treatment for smaller economies in the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) process as well as a hemispheric cooperation programme and the establishment of a regional integration fund. The fact is, the creation of the FTAA will provide a market of over 800 million consumers. With this comes opportunities and challenges.
“…Dean, we at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade have noticed the increasing activity of the Consular Corps of Jamaica. We commend your vibrancy and initiative. I now read a letter from the President of FICAC -.’Jamaica’s performance in the past has been excellent and may I refer especially to the Forum of the Americas 2002, which was so successfully held in Jamaica. The proven track record of the Corps ensures that we will have an excellent World Congress of Consuls in 2006.’ I have no doubt we will. Congratulations once again and all the best for the new year.”
(Excerpts from address by Hon. K.D. Knight, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.)