Jamaica. The Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Jamaica closed the year 2022 with a great celebration to commemorate the 58th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, within the framework of an event called ‘Tobacco, Rum and Gastronomy Gala: Tasting the Dominican Republic’.
The Gala took place at the official residence and which was attended by ministers and representatives of the Government and the Parliament of Jamaica; members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the island; representatives of international organizations and business agencies from Jamaica and the Dominican Republic; senior media executives; influential personalities and key figures from academia and civil society, among others.
The event was led by the Dominican Ambassador to Jamaica, Angie Martínez, and the Jamaican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith.
In her opening speech, Ambassador Martínez reviewed the most important achievements of the Dominican Mission in 2022; one of the most notorious being the start of direct commercial flights between the Dominican Republic and Jamaica “after a year of hard work, we were able to obtain authorization from the Jamaican government so that Dominican airlines can operate direct commercial flights between the two territories.
Achieving air connectivity is a very important diplomatic achievement, without a doubt the most far-reaching and transformative in our 58 years of diplomatic relations. This will have a very important impact on the growth of trade and investment, tourism, but most importantly, it will allow us to connect better, understand each other better and love each other more”.
The career diplomat also referred to the multimillion-dollar investments both Dominican and Jamaican that have been made in both territories, represented by Dominican companies such as Domicen, with Anchor Cement, Hyundai Magna Motors Jamaica, Newport Fersan Limited, IMCA-Caterpillar Jamaica, Diestro Limited, Silvarpole Limited, the Therrestra Group, among others; as well as important Jamaican investments in the Dominican Republic, such as the financial group JMMB, Jamaica Producers, Norbrook Equity Partner, Sygnus Group, Willcom Creative, among others.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, Kamina Johnson Smith, extended a greeting to the government of the Dominican Republic, especially to her counterpart, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Álvarez, and referred to the solid bilateral alliance with the Dominican Republic, reiterating its gratitude to the Dominican government for the support provided to the Jamaican government and its people during the hardships of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the donation of 50,000 doses of vaccines, for the benefit of the Jamaican people.
The Jamaican Foreign Minister added her voice in celebrating the important milestone of achieving direct air connectivity between both countries “The signing of the multi-destination agreement, and the recent inaugural flight of Arajet Airlines, with direct flights from Santo Domingo to Kingston, has injected a new dynamism to our relationship, and if I may say so, the energy of Ambassador Angie Martínez, alone, has also injected new dynamism into our bilateral relations. We hope to continue working to increase our excellent friendship ties.”
The night was graced with a beautiful exhibition of the best Dominican cigars whose fragrance filled the night air, as well as the tasting of the best Dominican rums, allowing the hundreds of guests to delve into our culture, while the fusion of flavors of Jamaican and Dominican gastronomy, as well as local and Dominican musical expressions, created the perfect environment to signify and project the excellent ties of friendship that have united the Dominican Republic and Jamaica for 58 years.
Guests attending the reception included the President of the Jamaican Senate, Senator the Honorable Tom Tavares-Finson; the president of the Chamber of Deputies, the Honorable Marisa Dalrymple Philbert; the Minister for Finance and Public Service, the Hon. Dr. Nigel Clarke; the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Senator the Honorable Aubyn Hill; Jampro President, Ms. Diane Edwards; the presidents of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Michael McMorris and Mr. Oral Heaven; the Executive Director of the Private Sector of Jamaica (PSOJ), Mrs. Imega Breese McNab; among others.
The event was sponsored by important Dominican and Jamaican companies, such as Domicen and ANCHOR CEMENT, Pepsi Cola Jamaica, Grupo JMBB, DIESTRO and SilvarPole Limited, Grace Kennedy, Therrestra, InterEnergy, Arajet, Cigars La Aurora m, La Flor Dominicana, OLIVER & Oliver RON, BARCELÓ, Bermudez, Ron La Aurora, Megamart, Red Stripe, Jamaica Producers, Wisynco, Helados Bon and Hyundai Magna Motors, as well as the collaboration of INTABACO, PROCIGAR and ADOPRON.
A plaque of recognition was presented to the only Jamaican employee of the Embassy, Mr. Linton La-Shawn McKay, Executive Assistant to Ambassador Martinez, for his twelve (12) years of service in the Mission, his unconditional dedication and performance with high sense of excellence, as well as for his valuable contribution to strengthening the bonds of friendship between the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.