Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Jamaica and T&T negotiating a cooperation agreement, says Holness

Published:Tuesday | July 5, 2016 | 7:30 AM
According to Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, the agreement is expected to develop a “mutually beneficial cooperation programme”.

Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, has announced that Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago are negotiating a cooperation agreement but has declined to give specifics.

Addressing leaders at last night’s opening of the 37th Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government conference, Holness said the two countries are working on what he called a joint commission agreement.

According to him, the agreement is expected to develop a “mutually beneficial cooperation programme”.

Holness did not go into details about what the cooperation agreement will be about.

But it is the result of talks Jamaica was forced to open with Trinidad and Tobago following that country’s denial of entry to several Jamaicans earlier this year.

On that matter of immigration, the Jamaican Prime Minister told his fellow CARICOM leaders that the issues needed to be urgently addressed.

Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley also declined to give details of the agreement when questioned by The Gleaner.

The agreement could be signed by later this month when Dr Rowley visits Jamaica on a four-day trip starting on July 17.

The relationship between Kingston and Port of Spain has not been very smooth over the years because of disputes about immigration and the treatment of Jamaicans.

Local private sector leaders have also called for the boycott of Trinidadian goods and services because of alleged unfair trading practices by Trinidadian businesses.

The previous Trinidadian administration was forced to send its then foreign minister, Winston Dookeran to Jamaica in 2013 at the height of one of the numerous disputes.