Foreign relations of Jamaica
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Jamaica has diplomatic relations with most nations and is a member of the United Nations and the Organization of American States. In the follow-on meetings to the December 1994 Summit of the Americas, Jamaica—together with Uruguay--was given the responsibility of coordinating discussions on invigorating society. Jamaica also chairs the Working Group on smaller Economies.
Jamaica is an active member of the Commonwealth of Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement (G-77). Jamaica is a beneficiary of the Lome Conventions, through which the European Union (EU) grants trade preferences to selected states in Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, and has played a leading role in the negotiations of the successor agreement in Fiji in 2000.
Historically, Jamaica has had close ties with the UK, but trade, financial, and cultural relations with the United States are now predominant. Jamaica is linked with the other countries of the English-speaking Caribbean through the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and more broadly through the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Jamaica has served two 2-year terms on the United Nations Security Council, in 1979-80 and in 2000-2001.
Disputes - international: none
Illicit drugs: Transshipment point for cocaine from Central and South America to North America and Europe; illicit cultivation of cannabis; government has an active manual cannabis eradication program
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is the government ministry responsible for handling the Jamaica's external relations and foreign trade.
Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1962. Since March 4, 1963, Canada has a high commission in Kingston. Jamaica has a high commission in Ottawa. On April 15, 2009, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper became the first Canadian head of government to address the Jamaican parliament. There are 231,000 people of Jamaican descent living in Canada. Jamaican-Canadians celebrate their island heritage through festivals held in major cities across Canada, the most recognized of which is Caribana. Caribana is held in Toronto, Ontario every year and attracts over one million visitors to the region, many of whom fly all the way from Jamaica.
- See also Jamaican Canadian
- Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade about relations with Jamaica
- Canadian high commission in Kingston
- Jamaican high commission in Ottawa
Prime Minister Percival James Patterson visited Cuba at the end of May 1997. In the fall of 1997, Jamaica upgraded its consulate in Havana to an embassy, and the nonresident Jamaican ambassador to Cuba was replaced by a resident ambassador.
In January, 2007, Haitian President René Préval, made a four-day working visit to Jamaica. At a press conference, Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced that a Joint Jamaica/Haiti Commission would be convened later that year.
- Famous Mexicans of Jamaican descent: Melvin Brown, Soccer player. Dory "The Ebony Giant" Dixon, Wrestler
Jamaica is the UK's third largest export market in the Caribbean after Puerto Rico and Trinidad & Tobago. In 2010, British exports were valued at £68.4 million- an increase of 48% over the previous year and imports at £47.8 million. The UK’s main exports to Jamaica are chemicals, manufactured goods, machinery, pharmaceuticals and food products. There are opportunities for UK companies in the following sectors: Education, Information Communications Technology, Agriculture, Health, Water and Renewable Energy.
The United States maintains close and productive relations with the Government of Jamaica. Former Prime Minister Patterson visited Washington, DC, several times after assuming office in 1992. In April 2001, Prime Minister Patterson and other Caribbean leaders met with President George W. Bush during the Summit of the Americas in Quebec, Canada, at which a "Third Border Initiative" was launched to deepen U.S. cooperation with Caribbean nations and enhance economic development and integration of the Caribbean nations. Then-Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller attended the "Conference on the Caribbean--A 20/20 Vision" in Washington in June 2007.
The United States is Jamaica's most important trading partner: bilateral trade in goods in 2005 was over $2 billion. Jamaica is a popular destination for American tourists; more than 1.2 million Americans visited in 2006. In addition, some 10,000 American citizens, including many dual-nationals born on the island, permanently reside in Jamaica.
Jamaica and the Commonwealth
- Caribbean Net News Jamaica and Haiti to deepen diplomatic relations, January 6, 2007