JAMAICA: Prime Minister wants Spanish to be second language

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A report from Magnetic Media TV.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says it is of strategic importance that the appropriate programmes be put in place, making Spanish a second language in Jamaica.

Delivering the keynote address at the official opening of the Excellence Oyster Bay Hotel in Trelawny on October 18, Mr. Holness said there are so many Spanish investments in Jamaica, that “bilateral cooperation” with that country could be even stronger by encouraging greater use of the Spanish language here.

The Prime Minister reminded that Jamaica and Spain have enjoyed a successful, meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship for many years, dating back centuries.  He said bilateral cooperation between the two countries has never been better, having strengthened over the past decade to where Spain is now one of the leading sources of direct foreign investments in Jamaica.

“With so much investment from Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries in the region, I think very soon we will have to emphasize and put in place programmes that make Spanish a second language,” Mr. Holness added.

The Prime Minister said it has not gone unnoticed the interest being shown in Jamaica’s tourism by Spanish investors, adding that the Government will do everything to “encourage even more investments”.

“We do take note of the Spanish investment of US$1.7 billion in Jamaica’s tourism industry.  This is evident in the 14 hotels, wellness centres and construction projects undertaken by Spanish companies across the island,” he noted.

Mr. Holness also pointed out that 25 per cent of the rooms that are built in Jamaica are the product of Spanish investments, and cited the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between the two countries back in May in Madrid, Spain, to facilitate the strengthening of bilateral, regional and multilateral relations to include areas of trade and investment, tourism, energy, agriculture and education.

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