Spanish Prime Minister wants Closer Ties with Jamaica


Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero, said yesterday (March 7), that he is committed to having closer ties with Jamaica and CARICOM.In a meeting with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in Madrid, he said he would continue to support growth and build the capacity for future investment, while providing more development aid and promoting greater co-operation between Jamaica and Spain.
He said he was amicably disposed to Jamaica having a mission in Spain and would facilitate and provide the support required so that an Embassy could be established.
The Prime Minister commended Mrs. Simpson Miller for the role Jamaica was playing in CARICOM, adding that he would embark on a pro-Jamaica campaign with business people of Spain.
He also updated the Prime Minister on his Government’s programmes to promote equity among men and women and to increase the number of women in government.
Mrs. Simpson Miller thanked the Spanish Prime Minister for the support Spain has provided to Jamaica through the high level of investments, in particular, in the tourism sector, which would amount to some US$1 billion over the next five years.
She also said that Jamaica welcomed Spain’s interest in concluding a double taxation agreement, which would further support private sector investment in Jamaica.
Mrs. Simpson Miller told Mr. Zapatero of her very positive meetings with Spanish private sector representatives and the real possibility of further Spanish investments in Jamaica.
She said while the island’s debt burden challenged the country’s ability to meet the Millennium Development Goals, the focus of her administration was not only to balance the books, but also to balance people’s lives and address the basic needs of the poor.
The Prime Minister said Jamaica welcomed the development in CARICOM/Spanish relations and urged the Spanish Government to give further support to the Cariforum/European Union negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement that satisfied the development needs of Cariforum countries.
She thanked the Spanish Government for hosting a conference on the challenges facing middle income countries and for hosting a donor conference on Haiti last year.

JIS Social