Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller says though it is her administration's desire to complete Jamaica's independence through the severing of ties with the British monarchy, Jamaica has always held the monarchy in high esteem and values Britain as one of its most valuable partners in the country's developmental process.
The Prime Minister was speaking on June 6 at a joint sitting of Parliament where members delivered tributes and unveiled a plaque in commemoration of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.
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In her tribute, Mrs Simpson Miller said that The Queen has presided over The Commonwealth, which is an institution that has an outstanding history of providing developmental assistance.
"Jamaica continues to benefit from technical assistance provided under the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC), in areas such as: debt recording and management where training is provided to public officials; the development of a framework for positioning Jamaica as a maritime centre or shipping hub; enhancing the competitiveness of Jamaica's micro, small and medium enterprise; and the provision of legal and technical assistance concerning the delimitation of maritime boundaries," Mrs Simpson Miller explained.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller added that the United Kingdom remains the primary market within the European Union for Jamaican products, and over the last five years, has been one of the few countries with which Jamaica enjoys a positive balance of trade.
"It is significant that in this year we also celebrate a milestone event of our own – 50 years of nationhood. The half century of our nationhood has been a period of political independence, bringing its opportunities, its achievements and its challenges," Mrs Simpson Miller said.
The Prime Minister also spoke of the positive impact His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales (Prince Harry) had on the Jamaican youth and Jamaicans when he visited Jamaica in March this year which has helped to place his grandmother into the hearts of Jamaican people.
"It is only fitting that we should record our pleasure at this achievement and pay tribute to an individual who has demonstrated that the call to duty and fidelity must be respected and displayed in our every action," Mrs Simpson Miller told members of the joint houses of Parliament.
Contact: Communications Unit-OPM