JIS News

LONDON — The Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (Norad) says it is willing to look into the possibility of providing funding for the expansion of the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI).

The commitment is the result of an appeal from Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Anthony Johnson, who met with senior officials of Norad during his first official visit to Norway last week.

High Commissioner Johnson, who is also non-resident Ambassador to Norway, told the officials that the government and people of Jamaica were very grateful for the organisation's co-operation, and expressed the hope that they would now be prepared to further assist the Institute in expanding its operations.

Norad provided the founding capital for the establishment of what is now the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI).

CMI was established in 1980 as the Jamaica Maritime Training Institute with just 30 students. It currently has more than 1,000 students on roll and is the only maritime training school in the Caribbean.

During his four-day visit to Norway, High Commissioner Johnson was received at the Royal Palace in Oslo by His Majesty King Harald V, to whom he formally presented his diplomatic credentials.

He also had a series of meetings with agencies and interests of potential value to Jamaica, including directors of Statoil, the Norwegian energy agency, one of the largest producers of gas and oil in Europe.

The directors expressed their interest in the Caribbean and Ambassador Johnson invited Statoil to submit a bid for exploration of offshore oil and gas deposits in Jamaican waters, for which tenders are now being requested by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ).

High Commissioner Johnson is also Jamaica's non-resident Ambassador to Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the Republic of Ireland.