JIS News

Cabinet yesterday (May 8) gave its approval for two delegations to attend separate overseas arrangements this week in Spain and Austria, to further the island’s diplomatic and economic relations.
Providing details to journalists at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House yesterday, Information and Development Minister, Senator Colin Campbell, said that Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Anthony Hylton, would lead the two delegations, one of which would be attending the third CARICOM/Spain Summit in Spain from May 10 to 11, while the other will represent Jamaica at the fourth meeting of the European Union/Latin American Caribbean Heads in Vienna, Austria from May 12 and 14.
Of the CARICOM/Spain Summit, the Information Minister said that in addition to Minister Hylton, the team would include Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Dr. Wesley Hughes; Ambassador Gail Mathurin, who is Jamaica’s Ambassador-designate to Spain, and a representative of the Jamaica Promotions Company (JAMPRO).
He explained that the meeting would provide “an institutional framework for promoting high-level political dialogue, exchange and cooperation in areas of mutual interest between Spain and countries of the Caribbean.”
The first CARICOM/Spain Summit was held in 1999, while the second was held in 2002. Thus far, deliberations have focused on the areas of political and economic relations, as well as bilateral cooperation.
“At the end of the last meeting, a joint declaration was issued reaffirming the parties commitment to strengthening ties and collaboration in a variety of areas and these will be followed up at this meeting,” Minister Campbell said.
He emphasised that the government considered the summit to be of great significance as based on previous meetings, a number of Spanish investments, including the construction of hotel developments, have taken place in the island.
Meanwhile, the delegation to the fourth meeting the European Union/Latin American Caribbean Heads will comprise Ambassador Evadne Coye, who is Jamaica’s Ambassador to the European Union; Dr. Wesley Hughes, and a representative from the Jamaican embassy in Geneva, Switzerland (which also serves the country of Austria) comprise the members of the delegation.
The purpose of the summit is to provide a forum for fostering greater regional cooperation between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean. “The participation of CARICOM members is intended to provide a synergy for the region’s relationship between the EU facilitated by the Cotonou agreement,” the Information Minister said.
He further noted that the summit would afford the opportunity to assess the progress achieved since the previous meeting, and would play a role in jointly forging a foreign policy direction of the European Union/Latin American Caribbean bilateral group for the future. Previous summits were held in Brazil, Spain and Mexico.