KINGSTON, Oct. 1 (JIS): The Government of Japan is providing $57 million in grant funding to Jamaica for improvements at the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), including the procurement of audiovisual equipment and upgrading of exhibitions.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, and her Japanese counterpart, His Excellency Mr. Shinzo Abe, signed the funding agreement on Wednesday (September 30) at Jamaica House following bilateral talks.
Prime Minister Abe was on a one-day official visit to the island.
Mrs. Simpson Miller, in providing details of the talks, informed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed to promote educational cooperation between the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Japan’s Sophia University.
She said that Jamaica is also set to benefit from a new technical cooperation project in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Three other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states will also benefit from the initiative.
Mrs. Simpson Miller thanked Prime Minister Abe for his country’s support to Jamaica.
“We do not take lightly, this important contribution by Japan to Jamaica’s economic and social development,” she said.
She noted that the countries share over 50 years of diplomatic relationship and the assistance being provided will enhance cooperation at all levels.
Prime Minister Abe, in underscoring Mrs. Simpson Miller’s sentiments, said Japan has sought to extend and deepen its bond with Jamaica through various exchanges.
“We recognise the importance of promotion of exchanges in a variety of areas such as sports… academic exchanges and Japanese language education,” he pointed out.
During the bilateral discussions, strategic dialogue was encouraged between the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) and the Japan External Trade Organization as well as the private sector organisations of both countries, in order to promote Japan-Jamaica business and investment.
The leaders also placed emphasis on issues of security, climate change, agenda 2030 and sustainable development for Small Island Development States (SIDS), and women empowerment.
During his visit to Jamaica House, Prime Minister Abe signed the guestbook and gifts were presented and exchanged between the two leaders.