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(Senator the Honourable Pearnel Charles Jr., State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (3rd  left) and Her Excellency (H.E.) Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, United Arab Emirates and Director of World Expo 2020 Dubai (4th right), discussed Jamaica’s participation in the expo, renewable energy and tourism during a high-level meeting at the Jamaican Foreign Ministry last week.)

 

Jamaica is set to showcase its newest innovations and products at the World Expo in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), October 2020 to April 2021. This announcement was made by State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Honourable Pearnel Charles Jr. during the official visit of Her Excellency (H.E.) Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, United Arab Emirates and Director of the expo (UAE) to Jamaica last week.

Expo 2020 is the first to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and it is geared at facilitating a global dialogue, bringing to life the main theme of “Connecting minds, creating the future.”

In addition to discussing marketing opportunities offered by the expo, the State Ministers spoke to their country’s strategic positioning across the world. Minister Al Hashimy highlighted the UAE’s status as an economic zone hub for the gulf region, relative to Jamaica’s strategic position in the Caribbean and its ambition of becoming the logistics hub in the region. In response, Dr. Eric Deans, Chief Executive Officer, Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) made the point that “Jamaica has sought to emulate the UAE and Singapore in this regard.”

Cooperation in Renewable Energy and Tourism

On the subject of renewable energy, HMOS Charles noted that the UAE Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund (CREF) is a critical cooperation tool and represents a further opportunity to enhance relations between the UAE and the Caribbean. H.E. Al Hashimy advised that Jamaica’s renewable energy proposal could be eligible for the next round of funding under the UAE-CREF.

Tourism was also discussed as HMOS Charles noted that “both countries could share best practices” in that sector. Both State Ministers also agreed that ongoing negotiations aimed at the conclusion of a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) and a model agreement on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments (BIT) should be fast-tracked.

The Ministers met at the Jamaican Foreign Affairs Ministry in New Kingston accompanied by officials from the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMU), the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA), the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Jamaican Foreign Ministry.