Statement by the Press Secretary on the Formation of the United States Business Committee on Jamaica

February 24, 1981

The President and Prime Minister Seaga of Jamaica, in their talks here on January 28, stressed the central importance of new private sector investment for Jamaican economic recovery and agreed that the formation of action groups of outstanding business leaders in the two countries would contribute substantially to this end. The President therefore applauds and strongly endorses the formation of the U.S. Business Committee on Jamaica, which was announced today.

The Committee will be chaired by Mr. David Rockefeller, chairman, Chase Manhattan Bank, and have an initial steering group comprised of Frank Borman, chairman, Eastern Airlines; Charles Bludhorn, chairman, Gulf and Western Industries; John C. Duncan, chairman, St. Joe Minerals; W. H. Krome George, chairman, Alcoa; Howard C. Kauffmann, president, Exxon Corp.; Cornell C. Maier, chairman, Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical; Seymour Milstein, chairman, United Brands; David P. Reynolds, chairman, Reynolds Metal Co.; and Curt R. Strand, president, Hilton International.

The Committee will work together with a counterpart Jamaican group in seeking to stimulate and mobilize new investment, trade, and employment in Jamaica during this critical period of national economic recovery.

The Secretary of State has designated a senior adviser to assist the U.S. Committee and other private activities in support of Jamaican recovery and to help assure harmony with U.S. Government policies.

Revitalization of the private sector is an integral part of the overall economic program being developed by the Government of Jamaica. Discussions are underway between the Government of Jamaica and international financial institutions to establish a sound development and stabilization program over the next 3 years. The United States, other bilateral donors, and the multilateral development banks are coordinating increased levels of economic assistance to strengthen the productive capacity of the country. These efforts, and those of many other private and public bodies, will help alleviate the pressing social problems of poverty and unemployment.