Source: Jamaica Observer
Bilateral trade opportunities and Jamaica’s efforts to diversify its energy sources were among the main issues discussed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness at a meeting with senior United States congresswoman Carolyn B Maloney (Dem- NY) during his visit to New York last week.
Maloney is a key member of the House Financial Services Committee, which has oversight of the US Treasury and significant influence with the International Monetary Fund. She is no stranger to Jamaica, having been a resident of St James for over four decades.
Prime Minister Holness met with her to continue his Government’s efforts to encourage US congressional support for an initiative to provide development assistance for highly indebted middle-income countries (HIMIC) like Jamaica.
Holness believes that this would help to address deep economic challenges facing nations like Jamaica, and reduce the gap in Jamaica-US trade relations.
In proposing his HIMIC initiative during the general debate at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 23, Holness said that these countries could receive assistance in the form of investments in favourable trade, technology transfer, security, and energy.
The prime minister also called for a review of the broad categorisation of countries based solely on GDP per capita, as he believes the measure fails to fully and accurately account for added vulnerabilities and levels of indebtedness.
The prime minister and the congresswoman also spoke to the planned opening of the new FBI office in Kingston as continuing efforts to combat organised criminal activities.
Congresswoman Maloney, who noted that it was her first meeting with the prime minister, said: “I admire his aspirations for Jamaica and his realistic approach. He reminds me of a President-elect Barack Obama eight years ago — very charismatic and real. The US and Jamaica have had an excellent trade relationship for many years. I will do everything I can to make it stronger,” she said.
Maloney is recognised as a national leader with extensive accomplishments on financial services, national security, the economy, and women’s issues. She is a senior member of both the House Financial Services Committee (on which she serves as ranking member of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets) and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. She is also the ranking member of the Joint Economic Committee.
Maloney was the first woman to chair the Joint Economic Committee, a House and Senate panel that examines and addresses the United States’ most pressing economic issues.
Prime Minister Holness returned home Saturday from a week-long visit to New York City, during which he addressed the United Nations’ General Assembly’s 71st session.