Ynys Môn Assembly Member Rhun ap Iorwerth has called for a clearer strategy from the Welsh Government to connect with the Welsh diaspora.
In a speech on the National Eisteddfod field in Ynys Môn last week, Rhun said that Wales could benefit greatly from strengthening its relations with the Welsh overseas, or those from a Welsh Background who live in foreign countries and said that we need to “persuade them – even from afar – to contribute to the future and to the development of our nation”.
Whilst delivering the Wales International annual speech, the AM, who chairs the Cross-Party Group, Wales International, in the Assembly, said: “Wales has been generous with her exports, her coal, slate and iron have left their mark on the four cornerns of the world, but the exports we can still benefit from them are our people.”
He compared Wales’ situation to that of Ireland and Scotland, who have clear strategies on connecting with their diaspora. Since 2014, the Irish Government have a Minister responsible for developing the relationship with the Irish abroad. The Scottish Government have held two ‘Homecoming Scotland’ projects to persuade members of the Scottish diaspora to reconnect with their homeland.
Rhun ap Iorwerth said that the Welsh Government is trying in a number of different ways to build foriegn connections, including with the Welsh diaspora, but according to Ynys Môn’s AM, a clear strategy is needed to tie everything together and to set clear goals:
“We need our own Homecoming Scotland, we need our own Diaspora Minister as they have in Ireland. We need to take this seriously, to show beyond any doubt that we see this as a priority.”