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 under the International Climate Initiative and for regional projects via CARICOM, whilst remaining a partner of Germany’s multilateral development cooperation.
Direct flights from Germany resumed on 1 July 2021 and overall tourist numbers have returned to pre‑pandemic levels. Approximately 15,000 people from Germany visited the island in 2022, putting Germany in 5th place in terms of tourist numbers behind the United States (with 1.3 million visitors to Jamaica), the United Kingdom, Canada and the Caribbean.
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. The Wolmer’s Boys School will be the first high school to introduce German as a compulsory foreign language with effect from the 2023/24 academic year. At present, German is not available at university level.
A small number of Jamaican undergraduates and postgraduates study at German universities on German Academic Exchange Service and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation scholarships.
In the field of music, there is a lively exchange (especially as regards reggae and dancehall).