SA, Jamaica eye stronger relations
7 August 2012
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," Zuma said on Tuesday.
Zuma, who was on a working visit to Jamaica, was speaking following talks with Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in Kingston.
As a first step towards this goal, the two countries envisage cooperation among universities on joint research projects, and student and academic exchange programmes.
A number of additional agreements are being negotiated between the two countries in the fields of science and technology, defence and security, social development, sport and culture, bilateral air services and public works.
Zuma said these agreements would serve to foster mutual cooperation, translating 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," Zuma said.
Currently, the Jamaican and South African governments have waived visa requirements for all South African and Jamaican passport holders to enable nationals to enter each others' countries for up to 90 days without visas.
This provision has facilitated the smooth movement of South Africans and Jamaicans who are engaging in music, education and sport, among other things.
Zuma's visit culminated in his attendance of a grand cultural gala to mark Jamaica's 50th year of independence from British rule.