Canada - Jamaica Relations

Canada - Jamaica Relations

Canada and Jamaica’s bilateral relationship is close and wide-ranging. With the largest population in the Caribbean, Jamaica is a key partner for Canada’s Engagement in the Americas.

Canada is actively engaged with Jamaica on a broad range of issues including; security and defence cooperation, trade and investment links, and development. Canada and Jamaica cooperate within the Commonwealth, the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

Canada is a key international partner for Jamaica in its efforts to fight crime and violence. Jamaica has benefited from Canadian support through the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) and the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program (CTCBP). Assistance has been provided for training in polygraph operations, cyber-security, maritime border security, and anti-money laundering techniques.

Jamaica, along with the other CARICOM countries, is a recipient of development assistance through the $600 million, twelve-year Caribbean Regional Development Program announced in 2007. There are three main pillars addressed under this program: sustainable economic development, justice sector reform and disaster mitigation. In addition, Jamaica is the beneficiary of a four-year, $17.2 million program entitled Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST), launched in December 2011. In December 2014, Canada announced a $20 million contribution to the Citizen Security and Justice Program, Phase III for Jamaica.

For more information on all bilateral and multilateral programing visit Panorama.

Trade and Investment                   

Canada and Jamaica have a longstanding and mutually beneficial trade and investment relationship and there continues to be room to grow. In 2014, Jamaica was Canada's second largest bilateral merchandise market among the CARICOM countries (after Trinidad and Tobago). Canada is a critical player in Jamaica’s financial sector.

Canada's exports to Jamaica in 2014 totaled $120.7 million and consisted mostly of animal & products, chemical products and vegetable products.

Canadian imports from Jamaica in 2014 stood at $264.6 million and consisted mostly of chemical products and food products.

Specific details on trade and investment by sector can be found in the factsheet.

Military Cooperation

The Canadian Forces have enjoyed a productive 45-year relationship with the Jamaican Defence Force (JDF). In 2012, that relationship became closer when Canada and Jamaica signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Canadian Forces Operational Support Hub in Jamaica.

Over many years Canada has assisted Jamaica in the construction and development of the Jamaican Military Aviation School and other training centers which have become regional hubs for countries throughout the Caribbean. Recently Canada provided support to the JDF to create a Joint Information Operations Center (JIOC) allowing Jamaica to integrate information from a variety of security and civil organizations. Canada is also constructing a Training Battalion Headquarters and a Counter-Terrorism School enabling Jamaica to assume a greater regional leadership role in capacity building through training.

Canada and Jamaica regularly engage in military exercises that provide essential training opportunities for both forces.

People to People Links

Canadians and Jamaicans are working in areas of key importance, including security, human rights and development. There are many links between our two countries including through tourism, volunteer opportunities, commercial ventures and educational exchanges.

Canada and Jamaica have a longstanding history of academic cooperation through a variety of agreements between our education institutions and through scholarship programs. Since 2007, more than 200 Jamaican students have been awarded scholarships by the Government of Canada to study in Canada. Information on available scholarships can be found on the Scholarships website.

There is a large Jamaican community in Canada estimated at 300,000 people, and more than 400,000 Canadians visited Jamaica in 2014. These interactions encourage ongoing positive relations between our two countries.

Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP)

Jamaica participates in the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP). This organized labour mobility program helps over 6000 Jamaica workers come to Canada annually to meet the temporary seasonal needs of Canadian agricultural producers.

Official Representation

Canada and Jamaica celebrated 50 years of diplomatic relations on August 6, 2012. Jamaica is represented in Canada by the High Commission of Jamaica in Ottawa. Jamaica also has consulates in Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Victoria.

Canada is represented in Jamaica by the High Commission of Canada in Kingston.

April 2015

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