KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica and Kuwait have formalised a framework for deeper economic relations with the signing of a bilateral investment treaty at the Ministry of Finance in Kuwait on April 1. The Hon. Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Jamaica and His Excellency Mustafa Jassim Al-Shimali, Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, signed the pact on behalf of their respective governments.
The treaty guarantees fundamental protection and the fair and equitable treatment of investors from both countries. In opening the door for expanded economic cooperation and the exploration of future business opportunities, particularly those related to Jamaica’s Logistics Hub initiative, the treaty also provides companies legal standing in dispute settlement matters and speaks to corporate social responsibility for companies operating in either country.
The signing of the treaty with Kuwait represents a key component of Minister Hylton’s ministerial mission to the Gulf States, specifically Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, from March 29 to April 5. With the assistance of the Jamaican Embassy in Kuwait, which was established in Kuwait City in 2009, Minister Hylton and his delegation engaged potential partners and investors, and promoted investment opportunities in logistics and other sectors in Jamaica such as infrastructure and real estate/tourism. Meetings were arranged with key stakeholders in the private and public sectors, with specific emphasis on the logistics industries and potential partnerships with sovereign wealth funds.
Sharp focus was also placed on gleaning a clearer understanding of the major considerations in establishing Jamaica as a regional logistics hub. The Dubai leg in the United Arab Emirates will target the aviation aspect of Jamaica’s Logistics Hub project. This mission to the Gulf States follows similar benchmarking and investment-seeking missions to Panama and Singapore, as Jamaica moves to establish itself as an international logistics and shipping centre with the potential to become a tremendous catalyst for economic growth.
Representatives from government agencies accompanying Minister Hylton on the mission include Mr. Clive Fagan, Chairman, Factories Corporation of Jamaica; Dr. Eric Deans, Chairman, Jamaica Logistics Task Force; Dr. Dana Morris Dixon, Interim President, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO); and Mr. Leroy Lindsay, Senior Aviation Consultant, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority. The private sector representatives comprise of Mr. Kim Clarke, President, Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ), Mr. Trevor Riley, General Manager, SAJ, and Mr. Francis Kennedy, President, Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC).
The Hon. Anthony Hylton (seated left), Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, and His Excellency Mustafa Jassim Al-Shimali (seated right), Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, prepare to sign the Bilateral Investment Treaty on behalf of their respective governments at the Ministry of Finance in Dubai on April 3. The agreement opens the door for expanded economic cooperation between Jamaica and Kuwait, and the exploration of future business opportunities, particularly those related to Jamaica’s Logistics Hub initiative.
The Hon. Anthony Hylton (left), Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, and His Excellency Mustafa Jassim Al-Shimali (right), Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, hold the instrument of agreement for the Bilateral Investment Treaty between Jamaica and Kuwait, which was signed by both men on April 1 at the Ministry of Finance in Dubai.