Last updated in March 2019
Since Jamaica gained independence in 1962, relations between it and Germany 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 (funding of approximately 255 million euros in total) was terminated in 2003, Jamaica having become a middle-income country in terms of per-capita earnings. However, Jamaica remains a partner of Germany’s regional and multilateral development cooperation. Its largest international donor is the EU, whose budget is financed by the member states. With a share of around 20 percent, Germany is the biggest contributor.
Jamaican exports to Germany – primarily bauxite and drinks – were worth 114.8 million euros in 2018, compared with 103.1 million euros in 2017. For its part, Jamaica imported goods from Germany – mainly machinery, cars and car parts – worth 99.6 million euros in 2018, compared with 67.6 million euros in 2017 (source for export and import figures: DESTATIS).
In 2017, just under 30,000 Germans visited Jamaica, thus putting Germany in fourth place, albeit with a significantly lower number of visitors, after the US (1.5 million), Canada (405,000) and the UK (212,000) (source: Jamaica Tourist Board).
There are hardly any larger German direct investments in Jamaica. However, German companies have indirect shares in hotel projects involving substantial investments. In 2017, a German investment fund, along with the local electricity supplier, invested in the largest solar project in the Caribbean to date (37 MW) in Jamaica. A German consortium plans to start constructing a dry dock in Kingston in the summer of 2019.
The German-Jamaican Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement entered into force on 29 May 1996.
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-Institut. German is not taught at schools or universities in Jamaica.
Jamaican undergraduate and postgraduate students study at German universities on German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation scholarships. In view of the increasing number of degrees taught in English at German universities, interest in studying in Germany has risen noticeably in Jamaica.
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.