Last updated in March 2015
Since Jamaica gained independence in 1962, relations between Germany and Jamaica have been friendly and untroubled, though not particularly intensive. Jamaica sees Germany as an important international partner and as one of the most influential member states of the European Union.
Previously very close bilateral development cooperation (worth a total of approximately EUR 255 million) was phased out in 2003, Jamaica having become a middle-income country in terms of per capita earnings. Jamaica, however, remains a partner of Germany’s regional development cooperation. The EU is the country’s largest international donor of subsidies. With a share of around 20 per cent, Germany is the biggest contributor to the assistance Jamaica receives from the EU.
According to Federal Statistical Office figures, in 2013 German imports from Jamaica were worth EUR 76.307 million (mainly aluminium oxide/bauxite). German exports to Jamaica were worth EUR 43.020 million (mainly motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products and machinery). Jamaica’s balance of trade deficit with Germany stands at EUR 33.287 million.
According to Jamaica Tourist Board figures, 21346 German tourists visited Jamaica in 2014, slightly more than in the previous year. Germany remains in fourth place as a country of origin.
German direct investments are negligible, though there is German participation in the Spanish hotel group RIU, which is investing heavily in Jamaica.
The German-Jamaican investment promotion and protection agreement, which entered into force on 29 May 1996, has so far failed to attain any real practical significance.
Culture and education
With financial support from the Federal Foreign Office, the Jamaican-German Society, which was founded in 1966, offers German language courses leading to a diploma recognised by the Goethe Institute. It also provides support to the German Embassy in organising cultural events.
Jamaican candidates occasionally succeed in obtaining German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation scholarships. There is keen interest in cooperation with German universities and universities of applied sciences.