• JIS News

    Story Highlights

    • Prime Minister, the Most. Hon Portia Simpson Miller, says the Jamaica/United Kingdom (UK) partnership, has been vital to the country’s economic programme.
    • Addressing a special Joint Sitting of Parliament at Gordon House on September 30, she also commended the British Government for taking the bold step to reduce the Air Passenger Duty, with effect from April 1, this year.
    • Mrs. Simpson Miller said the Government looks forward to strengthening the trade and investment linkages between both countries.

    Prime Minister, the Most. Hon Portia Simpson Miller, says the Jamaica/United Kingdom (UK) partnership, has been vital to the country’s economic programme.

    “The UK Government’s provision of substantial bilateral debt relief has been a major contribution to Jamaica’s economic programme,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

    Addressing a special Joint Sitting of Parliament at Gordon House on September 30,  she  also commended the British Government for taking the bold step to reduce the Air Passenger Duty, with effect from April 1, this year.

    “The re-branding of the Caribbean makes Jamaica and other Caribbean destinations more competitive. Tourist stopover arrivals in Jamaica from the UK have grown by approximately seventeen per cent over the past two years, and we expect further growth in the future,” the Prime Minister said.

    Mrs. Simpson Miller  said the Government looks forward to strengthening the trade and investment linkages between both countries.

    “I am aware that several Jamaican companies are doing well in the UK and I commend them for their efforts. We welcome more investors from the United Kingdom to establish a presence here,”  she added.

    Meanwhile, the Prime Minister noted that in recent years, one of the central planks of Jamaica/UK cooperation has been the area of security.

    Mrs. Simpson Miller  said that the UK has facilitated several projects within the security portfolio, which have been very beneficial to Jamaica and the Caribbean.

    The Prime Minister  noted that at a meeting  with the UK  Prime Minister, the  Rt. Hon. David Cameron, at Jamaica House on September 29, the Government  formally received a UK proposal concerning the construction of a new correctional facility in Jamaica.

    “Yesterday’s meeting provided the framework for further negotiations on this and other matters of mutual interest to our two countries,” she added.

    According to a release from the Ministry of National Security, the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry, has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of the UK to improve the conditions under which prisoners are held in Jamaica.

    The release noted that this will be done through the construction of a maximum security prison in Jamaica.

    This new facility would accommodate between 1,500 and 2,000 inmates in total.   Provision would be made for up to 300 Jamaicans serving prison sentences in the UK, and subject to deportation at the end of their sentences, to be transferred to this new prison to complete their sentences.

    The Government of the UK has committed  a grant of £25 million for the construction of the new facility and a further £5.5 million towards the reintegration and resettlement of prisoners.

    The UK Prime  Minister also addressed the Parliament,  after which he  departed. He was in the island on a two-day official visit.