Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (fifth from left) and other members of Cabinet applaud during the opening ceremony of the Inaugaural Diaspora Conference held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.??????

Prime Minister David Thompson wants all those young Barbadians in the Diaspora to get more involved in national activities wherever they live.

This message was delivered today on his behalf by Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Keith Franklin, during the opening ceremony for the Barbados Network Consultation at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Mr. Thompson told the participants that: "For me personally, this Consultation is a vital part of the Diaspora policy of this government and is a dream come true. For too long our policy has been diffuse, complicated, unfocussed and resource-starved.

??"In my 2008 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals I said then that this government "… viewed the diaspora as an integral part of the economic, social and cultural development of Barbados and is determined to create a comprehensive strategy for engaging them."??

He also indicated that a Biennial Network Consultation would be inaugurated so that persons could effectively communicate, share goals, set standards and get to know each other.??

The Prime Minister further stated that: "Barbados, can be proud of the capability and capacity of its human resources, wherever they may reside.?? I am always heartened by the commitment of Barbadians overseas to the social and economic development of the country, and who by their remittances and philanthropic contributions over the years have made an indelible mark on this country.??

"I anticipate that this relationship will continue and that in the near future there will exist a seamless connection between Barbadians on the ???rock’ and Barbadians in the Diaspora".

Prime Minister Thompson is on two months leave due to illness. clashley@barbados.gov.bb

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