The United States new envoy to Jamaica, Ambassador-Designate Pamela Bridgewater has pledged to use her tenure in Kingston to strengthen the historic ties of friendship and cooperation between the United States and Jamaica.
Ambassador-, Bridgewater said she is looking forward to working with the government and people of Jamaica in the fulfillment of her duties as Ambassador to that country. The US Ambassador-Designate made these remarks while in discussions with Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks during a courtesy call by Ms. Bridgewater at the Embassy of Jamaica on Tuesday, August 24, 2010.
The US Ambassador pointed out that some of her priorities will be the strengthening of the business sector, particularly in the area of manufacturing, working with US businesses to seek out investment opportunities, working with Jamaicans from all sectors to help the country develop, working with communities with a view to empowering young people, assisting the country in stemming crime as well improving tourist arrivals.
Ambassador Designate, Bridgewater acknowledged that there were many positives in Jamaica and saw possibilities of a win-win situation in the area of joint-venture opportunities.
The new US envoy said she welcomed the chance to serve as the new US Ambassador. “Jamaica and America share deep political, cultural and religious values and many common elements in our history. The people of the United States have always had a tremendous love for Jamaica and its rich cultural heritage and traditions”, she said. Ambassador Bridgewater pointed out that over 2 million Americans vacation in Jamaica yearly accounting for 65 percent of Jamaica’s tourism while 160 Peace Corps volunteers live and work across Jamaica today.
In her remarks, Ambassador Audrey Marks congratulated Ambassador Bridgewater on her appointment and expressed her pleasure on behalf of Jamaica to welcome her as Ambassador-Designate to her country. Ambassador Marks said, “Your appointment is coming at a critical time in Jamaica’s history during which the support of our closet neighbor and largest trading partner would be required in the area of socio-economic development and security support.”
Ambassador Marks highlighted the various investment opportunities which she said would be attractive for US investors. She also noted that the investment climate in Jamaica was very welcoming at this time and cited the example of Spanish and Chinese investments in major sectors. Ambassador Marks said she recognized that the U.S is pursuing the creation of jobs as a priority and as such, there are opportunities in Jamaica for partnerships to be developed that would have positive results for Jamaica and the U.S.
One such area she point out, is the re-development of downtown Kingston, which is a major project in which large U.S. contractors could become involved. Ambassador Bridgewater expressed her interest in this effort and recalled the amazing redevelopment that had taken place at the Washington Harbor by the execution of a vision which has totally transformed the waterfront.
The US Ambassador-Designate has served in the US State department for over 29 years in postings in Africa, Europe and the Western Hemisphere. She has also had assignments in Belgium, Jamaica, South Africa, Benin, the Bahamas and her last posting was as Ambassador to Ghana. Ambassador Bridgewater will take up her assignment in Jamaica shortly.
We are indebted to Derrick Scott of JIS/ Washington DC for content and photos