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Story Highlights

  • Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, David Prendergast, says the official visit of the Prime Minister of the twin-island republic, Dr. the Hon. Keith Rowley provides opportunity for the countries to address challenges, and strengthen bilateral relations in a range of areas.
  • Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago established diplomatic relations some 53 years ago and over the years several bilateral cooperation programmes have been implemented.
  • Mr. Prendergast said much is being done to engage the Jamaican community in the twin-island Republic and the rest of the Caribbean.

Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, David Prendergast, says the official visit of the Prime Minister of the twin-island republic, Dr. the Hon. Keith Rowley provides opportunity for the countries to address challenges, and strengthen bilateral relations in a range of areas.

Some of the matters to be discussed include the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME), and the related Free Movement of Community Nationals and Immigration matters, Trade and Energy Cooperation and Air Transportation.

Talks between the heads will also focus on the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), the Secretariat which is located in Port-of-Spain.

Both countries have been among the more active member states of the ACS and have been an integral part of the Ad Hoc Working Group established in 2009 to explore measures for the strengthening of the ACS.

“We have also had collaboration in various regional, international and multilateral fora such as the Organization of American States (OAS), African Caribbean and Pacific group of states and the United Nations,” Mr. Prendergast said.

Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago established diplomatic relations some 53 years ago and over the years several bilateral cooperation programmes have been implemented.

Some of the areas of focus include scholarships and short-term training programmes in diplomacy and environmental sustainability.

Mr. Prendergast noted that the countries share a longstanding friendship, which has seen Trinidad and Tobago providing much needed assistance to Jamaica in the recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean in 2007 and Hurricane Gustav in 2008.

“We have looked at areas of collaboration in sport and in culture. We see these areas as a wide-open opportunity to further consolidate our bilateral relations with Trinidad and Tobago,” Mr. Prendergast said.

He added that Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago are looking at exploring a bilateral framework for the expansion and deepening of cooperation.

“The bilateral framework seeks to better promote trade and investment between the two countries, to look at coordinated implementation of programmes of technical cooperation and to look at strengthening sports and cultural links and programmes aimed at promoting further development in both our countries,” Mr. Prendergast pointed out.

Meanwhile, the High Commissioner said since his appointment in January 2015, he has been working to further deepen relations between the countries.

Mr. Prendergast said much is being done to engage the Jamaican community in the twin-island Republic and the rest of the Caribbean.

“We have focused on student engagement, we have sought to strengthen our consular services and as we are aware, we have a mandate to look out for and protect the interests of our Jamaican nationals,” he stated.

Trinidad and Tobago has one of the highest growth rates and per capita incomes in Latin America and the Caribbean and it is the leading Caribbean producer of crude oil and liquid natural gas.

Its economy is heavily dependent on these natural resources. The country also supplies manufactured goods, notably food products and beverages, as well as cement to the Caribbean region.

Prime Minister Rowley is visiting Jamaica from July 17-21.