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European Union boasts €1 billion in grants

Published:Tuesday | February 17, 2015 | 2:00 AMRichard Mitchell

The European Union (EU) and the Government of Jamaica on Thursday marked their 40th year of collaborations at Jamaica House in St Andrew.

One of the highlighted fruits of their partnership is €1 billion the EU has gifted Jamaica through grants over the last 40 years.

Speaking at the ceremony, head of delegation for the EU, Ambassador Paola Amadei highlighted the EU's history with Jamaica, and made note of the numerous collaborative projects and agreements made over the years.

One such collaboration includes the EU providing development assistance by allowing for preferential market access for Jamaica's bananas, rum, and sugar.

"I am proud of all the Jamaicans who have benefited from our efforts, whether driving on the northern highway or working in the sugar or banana industry, or, indeed, through our partnership with our social programmes," said Amadei.

In highlighting a relatively new initiative, Amadei revealed that the EU and the Government of Jamaica have begun yearly discussions on local, regional and global issues.

 

'I am delighted'

 

The ambassador explained: "I am delighted that we have firmly established an annual political dialogue with Jamaica, where we can sit down and not only discuss our own relationship, but also discuss and collaborate on regional and global matters."

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who gave the main address, also highlighted the collaborative projects and expressed pleasure regarding the EU's long-standing involvement in Jamaica's development.