JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Relations between Jamaica and Spain have strengthened, and this year the two countries are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic ties.
  • “The importance of our presence here has been increased in recent years, thanks to the numerous investments that have arrived in Jamaica since the late 1990s,” Chargé d’Affaires in the Embassy of Spain, Carmen Rives Ruíz-Tapiador, told JIS News in an interview.
  • Spanish investors have spent more than US$1.7 billion in the tourism sector.

Relations between Jamaica and Spain have strengthened, and this year the two countries are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic ties.

This year is also the 10th anniversary of The Spanish-Jamaican Foundation (SJF), which has been in existence since 2006.

“The importance of our presence here has been increased in recent years, thanks to the numerous investments that have arrived in Jamaica since the late 1990s,” Chargé d’Affaires in the Embassy of Spain, Carmen Rives Ruíz-Tapiador, told JIS News in an interview.

She added that Jamaica was the first English-speaking country in the Caribbean in which Spain established an embassy.

Highlighting Spain’s investment in Jamaica’s tourist industry, Mrs. Ruíz-Tapiador cited the numerous hotel construction projects undertaken across the island by Spanish companies. To date,

Spanish investors have spent more than US$1.7 billion in the tourism sector.

“Riu Hotel opened in 2001, and that was the first hotel to arrive in Jamaica. Now we have six hotels, and there are other hotel chains here,” she noted.

In the area of health tourism, the Chargé d’Affaires mentioned the Grupo Hospiten International, a private Spanish medical company that has been operating the MoBay Hope Medical Centre (MHMC) in western Jamaica.

The MHMC, a state-of-the-art medical facility, offers care to both residents and visitors through 11 nursing stations established in hotels in three resort towns on the north coast, with its main operation at Half Moon Village in Rose Hall, St. James, and a clinic at the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier.

Mrs. Ruíz-Tapiador also praised the work of the SJF, which she said has facilitated technical cooperation programmes between Jamaica and Spain.

“The hotels are together and they have created the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation, which gathers most of the Spanish investments on the island, and their goal is to give back to Jamaica, to get involved with Jamaican societies and to assist as much as possible,” she said.

The SJF, a philanthropic body, has also promoted numerous educational, cultural, environmental and community development initiatives.