Last updated in October 2018
Since Jamaica gained independence in 1962, relations between Germany and Jamaica have been friendly and untroubled. Jamaica sees Germany as an important international partner and as one of the most influential member states of the European Union.
Bilateral development cooperation (totalling approximately 255 million euros) was terminated in 2003, after Jamaica had become a middle-income country in terms of GDP per capita. However, the country remains a partner of Germany’s regional and multilateral development cooperation. Jamaica’s largest international donor is the European Union, whose budget is financed by the member states. With a share of around 20 percent, Germany is the biggest contributor.
According to Federal Statistical Office figures, in 2017, Germany imported goods (primarily metals and beverages) worth 103.1 million euros from Jamaica, compared with 102 million euros in 2016. During the same period, Germany exported goods (primarily machinery, motor vehicles and vehicle parts) worth approximately 67.6 million euros to Jamaica, compared with around 70 million euros in 2016. While trade was relatively balanced in 2015, in both 2016 and 2017 Jamaica’s exports to Germany far exceeded its imports from Germany.
Just under 30,000 German tourists visited Jamaica in 2017, according to figures from the Jamaica Tourist Board. Germany thus remains – by a large margin – in fourth place among the source markets for tourism to Jamaica, behind the United States (1.5 million), Canada (405,000) and the United Kingdom (212,000).
There is little significant direct investment by German companies in Jamaica. However, there has been substantial investment in the form of indirect German participation in hotel projects in the country involves substantial investments. In 2017, a German firm invested in a joint venture with a local power company to build a 37-megawatt solar project in Jamaica, the largest to date in the Caribbean. A German consortium is due to begin constructing a dry dock in Kingston.
The German-Jamaican investment protection and promotion agreement entered into force on 29 May 1996.
Culture and education
Through funding from the Federal Foreign Office, the Jamaican-German Society, founded in 1966, offers German language courses leading to a diploma recognised by the Goethe-Institut. The Society also supports the Germany Embassy in carrying out its cultural programme.
Jamaican undergraduate and postgraduate students study at German universities on German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation scholarships. There is keen interest in cooperation with traditional German universities as well as with universities of applied sciences.
This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.