Spain ideal partner for Jamaica - Ambassador Bessa
Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica Josep Maria Bosch Bessa says that his country is the ideal foreign partner Jamaica needs to achieve its target of five per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth over a four-year period.
He was speaking at the official opening of the 17th staging of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2017) Trade Expo at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James on Friday, held under the theme, 'Connecting Industries: Building Together'.
The veteran diplomat, who recently began his tour of duty, said Spain had to grow its economy through tourism, foreign investments, and remittances, a similar route now employed by the Government.
"The (Jamaican) economy is growing, and we are all confident that Jamaica will break the vicious cycle of slow growth and increased public debt," the ambassador said.
"Government, businessmen, and civil society have the challenge of ending this economic slowness through reform and the opening of the economy, being able to attain the objective of the infamous four in five."
He added, "For that you need foreign partners and Spain: Spanish companies are among the best options for building Jamaica together. To tell you the truth, I see Spain as the ideal partner for Jamaica."
ALMOST 9,000 ROOMS
According to the Spanish ambassador, his country's investment in tourism is nearing 9,000 rooms, while there are also spin-offs in the health, engineering, and finance services.
Ambassador Bessa said that Jamaica and Spain have a strong historical and bilateral link and pointed out that there are great opportunities awaiting Jamaican entrepreneurs willing to partner with Spain.
"This puts us in a good way with Jamaica because we have things in common. We both depend heavily on tourism, and so it is my hope that during my tenure, we can accelerate this," he stated.
"There are many possibilities in order to connect Jamaica and foreign businesses, and in my view, Jamaican entrepreneurs have to look attentively at the many opportunities arising from the important presence of Spanish hotels in your country."
In his recent three-day visit to Jamaica, Spanish State Secretary for International Cooperation and Latin America Fernando GarcÌa Casas, also noted his country's intention to increase its presence in Jamaica's commercial industry.