Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, has called on support from Germany in removing Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries from the European Union’s (EU) money-laundering blacklist.
Jamaica is among four CARICOM nations named in a new EU anti-money laundering and terrorism financing list published in May.
Speaking at a virtual meeting of Foreign Ministers of Latin America, the Caribbean and Germany on Wednesday (June 3), Senator Johnson Smith said that the EU blacklisting continues to be a concern for Jamaica and other countries in the region.
“We, therefore, seek the support of the Government of Germany in leveraging its influence in major multilateral fora to have these crippling structural imbalances in the international economic system swiftly addressed,” she said.
The ministerial virtual conference, which was attended by 26 foreign ministers, was held to discuss effective responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and possible assistance measures in the current fight against the pandemic.
It focused on the need for stronger international solidarity and cooperation to achieve the objectives, within the framework of the Latin America and Caribbean Initiative.
Senator Johnson Smith said the meeting “sets the stage for the continued positive trajectory of Germany-LAC engagement”.
She said that despite Jamaica’s successes in containing the spread of the virus, recovery from the impact of COVID-19 “will require longer-term concerted efforts at the global level”.
She also used the opportunity to commend Germany, which through the EU had contributed ventilators and other medical supplies to the Jamaican health system.
“During this unprecedented crisis, we continue to count on the support of Germany, which has been a reliable partner of Jamaica and the wider region,” she noted.
The Senator said that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a digital transformation in order to be better prepared for another similar crisis and to also achieve real growth.
“The digital economy is an area ripe for investment by and cooperation with German businesses, which have already shown significant experience, expertise and capacity,” she noted.