Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has informed that the Government has offered four scholarships to Haiti, which are tenable at the HEART/Trust NTA institutions.
She also noted that two other scholarships have been given to that country, which are tenable at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), in Portland.
The Prime Minister said that Jamaica will continue to support its Caribbean neighbour, as it works towards achieving its developmental goals.
Speaking at a press briefing, on November 14, at the Office of the Prime Minister, after a meeting with the President of Haiti, His Excellency Michel Martelly, Mrs. Simpson Miller said the occasion has provided the impetus needed to significantly advance bilateral cooperation between both countries in a number of key areas.
The Prime Minister said the discussions were both historic and timely and were conducted in an atmosphere of friendship, cooperation and mutual respect.
The bilateral talks were attended by members of the Jamaican Cabinet, senior Government officials and Government Ministers from Haiti.
“We discussed the strengthening of bilateral relations and mutually beneficial initiatives, aimed at increased cooperation between our two countries and governments,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
Among the issues discussed were trade and investment, security, agriculture, sports, tertiary education, tourism and culture.
Mrs. Simpson Miller also welcomed the Haitian President to Jamaica, noting that the visit underscores the excellent historical, political and cultural ties and bonds of friendship that exist between the two nations.
“We welcome you to Jamaica, not just as the President of the Republic of Haiti, but as a friend and a brother,” she said.
“We will explore together the greater opportunities for growth and development of both our countries. We’ll be working together to make the Northern Caribbean the engine of growth for our region as we seek to grow together for the benefit of all our people,” the Prime Minister said.
For his part, President Martelly said Haiti would like to open its doors to Jamaican investors, who are interested in doing business in the Caribbean nation.
He pointed out that as the country continues its reconstruction efforts, following the devastating January 2010 earthquake, there are numerous opportunities for the construction of roads, airports, ports and houses, as well as prospects in agriculture.
“We could have projects that give jobs to Haitians, but also giving opportunities to Jamaican [investors],” he said.
“There are Jamaican businesses that have established themselves in Haiti. They are creating jobs for Haitians, and of course, opportunity to do business and make money in our country,” he added.
President Martelly said the meeting with the Prime Minister was mutually successful, noting that the two leaders discussed matters such as connectivity and visas; cultural exchange; possible agricultural projects, as well as security matters.
He further noted that there is much that his country can learn from Jamaica, particularly in the areas of tourism and sport. “I would like to congratulate you for being able to make Jamaica a country known worldwide… in tourism and athletics,” he said.
President Martelly and his 11-member delegation are in Jamaica for a three-day State Visit.
On Friday, he will visit the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), where he is slated to meet with Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting; Chief of Defence Staff, Major Antony Anderson, and Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington.
They are expected to discuss important security issues, including improving law enforcement cooperation.
President Martelly will also meet with representatives of the private sector and the local business community to discuss trade and investment opportunities, which will be of mutual benefit to both countries.
Members of the President’s delegation include: Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Pierre Richard Casimir; Minister of Justice and Public Security, Jean Renel Sanon; Minister of Defence, Jean Roudolph Joazile; Minister of Youth, Sport and Civic Action, Magali Racine; Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Jacques Thomas; and Special Advisor to the President, Gregory Mayard-Paul.
Mr. Martelly is also accompanied by representatives from the Haitian private sector and members of his security detail. The President and his delegation will leave the island on Friday, November 15.