Germany and Jamaica: Bilateral relations

24.03.2023 - Article

Since Jamaica gained independence in 1962, German-Jamaican relations have been friendly and untroubled. Jamaica regards Germany as an important international partner and as one of the most influential member states of the European Union.

Bilateral development cooperation ended in 2003 when Jamaica became a middle-income country. However, it continues to receive funding via CARICOM for regional projects under the International Climate Initiative run by the Federal Environment Ministry and remains a partner of Germany’s multilateral development cooperation.

The lack of direct flights from Europe in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic meant a sharp fall in the number of German visitors to Jamaica (2021: just under 5000, not including cruise passengers). This has put Germany down in 5th place behind the United States (with 1.3 million visitors to Jamaica), the United Kingdom, Canada and the Caribbean. Direct flights from Germany resumed on 1 July 2021 and overall tourist numbers have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

There are hardly any major German direct investments in Jamaica. One larger project is the German-Jamaican-Turkish joint venture German Ship Repair Jamaica Limited, the purpose of which is to establish a shipyard in Kingston, Jamaica. In addition, German companies have considerable indirect shares in hotel projects. In 2017, a German investment fund and a local electricity supplier invested in the largest solar project in the Caribbean (37 MW), located in Jamaica. It was inaugurated on 2 October 2019. The German-Jamaican Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement entered into force on 29 May 1996.

With financial support from the Federal Foreign Office, the Jamaican-German Society, which was founded in 1966, offers German language courses leading to diplomas recognised by the Goethe-Institut. German is not taught at schools or universities in Jamaica. A small number of Jamaican undergraduates and postgraduates study at German universities on German Academic Exchange Service and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation scholarships.

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