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Obama pledges assistance on energy

Published:Friday | April 10, 2015 | 12:00 AMDaraine Luton

Jamaica's prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller, said yesterday that the statement of intent which was agreed by the governments of Jamaica and the United States (US) will facilitate the development of emerging technologies and industries and pave the way for future innovation in energy-related fields.

"One of the outcomes of the president's visit is the signing by our respective ministers of energy of a statement of intent between Jamaica and the United States of America to pursue the development and the deployment of energy-related technology," Simpson Miller said, following a bilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama at the Office of the Prime Minister.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell, with Dr Ernest Moniz, secretary of the US Department of Energy, yesterday signed the statement of intent between the Department of Energy of the United States of America and the Jamaican Government, at Eden Gardens in St Andrew.

Obama said the area of energy has come in for special attention during meetings with Simpson Miller as well as heads of governments of CARICOM countries.

"Oftentimes, people in the Caribbean, despite having less resources, are paying significantly more for energy and, if we can lower those costs through the development of clean energy and increase energy efficiency, we could unleash, I think, a whole host of additional investments and growth," Obama said.

"I think there is a host of areas where the United States can be helpful," Obama said.

The US president said that his government supports the ongoing economic-reform efforts in Jamaica to deal with its public debt while still making investments in youth and the people of Jamaica, which ultimately determine long-term growth.