( L - R ) Hylton and Slva
Jamaica and Spain will this week begin an extensive series of events marking the 40th anniver-sary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The celebrations will culminate on October 25, 2007, which will mark another milestone, the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Embassy of Spain in Kingston.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Anthony Hylton, and Am-bassador of Spain, Jésus Silva, will launch the celebra-tions with a reception tomor-row, December 19, at the Ambas-sador's residence.
The Ambassa-dor is scheduled to pay a courtesy call today on Governor-General Professor Ken-neth Hall, to deliver a message of congratulations from the King of Spain, noting the anniversary.
The relations between the two countries have witnessed an intense evolution in recent times, most evident in increased Spanish investments, particularly in the tourist industry.
Spain's investments in tourism alone will add over 10,000 rooms to the island's room-stock, a 50 per cent increase in current capacity. These investments are expected to result in the creation of more than 10,000 direct jobs and some 30,000 indirect jobs.
Improved bilateral relations have also seen Spanish involvement with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). This includes the 1999 signature of a Cooperation Agreement between Spain and CARICOM, which has resulted in the staging of three CARICOM - Spain Summits and two sittings of the CARICOM - Spain Joint Commission.