Jamaica and Trinidad to Forster closer links

Two Caribbean countries have agreed to foster closer links in trade, security, and sports. On Monday, the prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago Keith Rowley, and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Hollness met for discussions, agreeing to enhance their existing cooperation.

“We had a couple of discussions, I can tell you that the outcome of that has confirmed that the circumstances of governing Jamaica, the challenges of Jamaica are virtually identical to the circumstances and challenges of Trinidad and Tobago,” Rowley told reporters.

Rowley said both he and his counterpart acknowledged the importance of the CSME, and the revised treaty of Chaguaramas, which allows for a free movement of goods, skills, labour and services within the 15-member regional integration movement, as they sought to deepen their relations.

“That means the decisions we have been taking and those of you, who would have seen what is happening at the CARICOM level, an intensity of activity at the leadership level, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, Guyana and Suriname…and I simply want to indicate that this is a commitment from the current pool of leadership that time is not on our side,” Rowley added.

Holness, is in Port of Spain as part of the celebration of that country’s 60th anniversary of political independence from Britain.

“I must say when Prime Minister Rowley visited Jamaica, we were very happy…and it started a movement towards enhanced co-operation between our two countries. As a result of that we were able to create a pathway to deal with trade complaints and today we signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on that cooperation,” he added.

The issue of national security was also discussed according to Holness.

“The meeting also looked at national security “from a multi-dimensional perspective, cyber security…and then there is the real issue of crime and violence and we delved into that issue “But there is a commonality which we have observed. Prime Minister Rowley has been speaking on that, I have seen many of his statements …and one of the statements that caught my attention was Prime Minister Rowley’s declaration that violence is a public health issue and we have been saying this in Jamaica as well,” Holness said.