Jamaica – The Spanish Visit , the Second Coming

It’s nearly 515 years since Columbus came to Jamaica on his second voyage.

columbus-voyage-2.gif

This Wednesday, the King and Queen of Spain  came instead of sending an adventurer. For 146 years, Jamaica was a Spanish colony until it was abandoned to the British. The Spanish has left a legacy that is visibly reflected in our architecture, and names of many of our towns.

spanish.jpg

King Juan Carlos I addressed parliament, and made significant commitment about the two nation’s relationship.

  • Spain has been quietly nurturing the relationship in recent years.
  • Spanish investment is said to be around US$1.48 B resulting in 40,000 jobs.
  • Spain is one of the leading developers , building a significant portion of the new accommodation capacity.
  • Spanish visitors account for the third largest set of visitors from Europe.
  • They sent aid during the devastating hurricanes of last year.
  • They have made investments in agriculture and training of farmers.
  • They have invested in the restoration of the Spanish presence in Spanish Town such a a wing of the hospital.
  • Spain has supported teaching of Spanish as a foreign language which will help with our Latin America engagements.

signing.jpg.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. Kenneth Baugh (right), and Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, Ambassador Miguel Angel Moratinos, sign copies of bilateral agreements for the establishment of air services between both countries.

.

Tourism remains our golden goose. However, is the increased development like feeding steroids to the goose?

We are faced with a major dilemma.  How do you leverage the interest from the Chinese, and now the Spanish and create a sustainable, diverse economic situation?