President Ram Nath Kovind has met Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and discussed enhancing bilateral cooperation in trade and investment, service, health, railway and transport services and sports with the Caribbean island nation. President Kovind, accompanied by his wife Savita Kovind, arrived here on Sunday on a state visit, the first by any Indian President to Jamaica.
“President Ram Nath Kovind met Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica. They discussed enhancing cooperation between the two countries in trade and investment, service, health, railway and transport services and sports,” the President’s office tweeted.The two countries also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate close academic and training exchange for foreign service officers of Jamaica in India.
“India-Jamaica signed one MoU on cooperation between Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service (SSIFS) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica. MoU will facilitate close academic and training exchange for foreign service officers of Jamaica in the SSIFS,” according to a tweet by the President’s office. Later in the day, Jamaican Leader of Opposition Mark Golding called on President Kovind, it said.
The President inaugurated Dr Ambedkar Avenue in downtown Kingston in the honour of Dr B R Ambedkar, the President’s office said on Twitter. Kovind also inaugurated the India-Jamaica Friendship Garden in Kingston and planted a sandalwood sapling at Hope Botanical Gardens, it added.The President, who arrived here on the first leg of his two-nation tour that will also take him to St Vincent and Grenadines, will be in Jamaica till May 18.He will address the Joint Sitting of the two Houses of the Jamaican Parliament, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
The Presidential visit is happening in the 60th anniversary year of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The President was accorded a guard of honour on his arrival. Prime Minister Holness said he was deeply pleased to extend a warm Jamaican welcome to Kovind and his wife.
“This is the first state visit of an Indian President to Jamaica. Welcome to Jamaica, His Excellency the Honourable Ram Nath Kovind,” he tweeted. Jamaica and India have friendly relations. Jamaica is also one of the Girmitya countries with a 70,000 strong Indian diaspora, which acts as a living bridge with India.
“The visit comes at a significant milestone as 2022 is the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Jamaica. Furthermore, India and Jamaica are celebrating the 75th and 60th anniversaries of their independence respectively,” according to the Ministry of External Affairs.