They were met at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston by a welcoming party led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith. Other members of the local delegation included: Kingston’s Mayor, Senator Dr Angela Brown Burke; Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Elaine Foster Allen; wife of the Prime Minister Juliet Holness; Chief Justice, Zaila McCalla; and Chief of State Protocol, Ambassador Elinor Felix.
Speaking with journalists, Holness said the visit aims to strengthen the countries’ bilateral relations, noting the strong cultural, commercial, financial and trade links they share. He said discussions with Dr Rowley will focus on these areas as well as matters related to security, among others. Both leaders will also discuss the signing of a Framework Agreement and the establishment of a Joint Commission, currently under negotiation, to provide a structured medium for bilateral discussions and co-operation in areas of mutual interest.
Prime Minister Holness noted that the countries’ relations facilitated visits by approximately 16,000 Jamaicans to Trinidad and Tobago last year, while 13,000 citizens of the twin island republic were granted entry into Jamaica. “I am looking forward to a successful visit and at the end of it, I am looking forward to a stronger bilateral relationship between Jamaica and our largest trading partner within CARICOM,” he said.
The visit follows ongoing discussions between both Governments towards the resolution of long standing bilateral and regional issues. These include: implementation of the CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME), and the related Free Movement of Community Nationals and Immigration matters, Trade and Energy Cooperation and Air Transportation.
Dr Rowley will also meet with the Chairman of the CARICOM/CARIFORUM Review Commission, Bruce Golding; pay a courtesy calls on the Governor-General, Sir Patrick Allen, the Leader of the Opposition, Portia Simpson Miller, and the Vice Chancellor, University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. Additionally, he will engage heads of private sector organizations and entities in discussions on trade and business development issues.
Rowley is scheduled to address the 22nd Session of the General Assembly of the International Seabed Authority at the Jamaica Conference Centre.He will also meet with the Vice Chancellor and Senior Executives of the UWI, members of the Diaspora, as well as students from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Rowley will have a scheduled engagement with Trinidadian entrepreneurs in Jamaica. The Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister and his delegation are expected to depart the island on Thursday, July 21
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