Pretoria: President Jacob Zuma says he would like to see increased volumes of trade and investment between South Africa and Jamaica.
“We are committed to encourage and facilitate South African companies doing business in Jamaica, resulting in the steady growth in trade and investment between our two countries,” said Zuma, who is on a working visit to Jamaica, aimed at solidifying relations.
As a first step towards this goal, the two countries envisaged cooperation amongst universities on joint research projects, and student and academic exchange programmes.
Following talks between Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Zuma, it emerged that a number of additional draft agreements and Memoranda of Understanding were being negotiated between both countries. These are in the fields of sports and recreation, science and technology, defence and security, social development and culture, bilateral air services and public works.
Zuma said these agreements would serve to foster mutual cooperation, translate into stronger economic, social and developmental relations between the two countries.
“The talks are a clear indication of our collective determination to take our relations to higher levels for the mutual benefit of our respective countries,” said Zuma.
At the moment, the Jamaican and South African governments have waived visa requirements for all South African and Jamaican passport holders to enable nations from each side to enter the country for a period of up to 90 days without the necessity of visas.
This provision has facilitated the smooth movement of South Africans and Jamaicans who are engaging in music, education, sports, among other things.
In their talks, Zuma and Miller also reflected on bilateral, global and multilateral matters of interest and concern such as the need to reform the United Nations, particularly the Security Council and the Bretton Woods Institutions, as well as a voice in the G8 and G20.
They further reflected on issues related to climate, where they stressed that the multilateral climate change regime must strike a balance between climate change and development imperatives.
President Zuma’s visit will culminate in his attendance of a Grand Cultural Gala to mark the country’s 50th year of independence from British rule.