Foreign relations of Jamaica

Jamaica has diplomatic relations with most nations and is a member of the United Nations and the Organization of American States. Jamaica chairs the Working Group on smaller Economies.

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Jamaica is an active member of the Commonwealth of Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement (G-77). Jamaica is a beneficiary of the Lome Conventions, through which the European Union (EU) grants trade preferences to selected states in Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, and has played a leading role in the negotiations of the successor agreement in Fiji in 2000.

Disputes - international: none

Illicit drugs: Transshipment point for cocaine from Central and South America to North America and Europe; illicit cultivation of cannabis; government has an active manual cannabis eradication program

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is the government ministry responsible for handling the Jamaica's external relations and foreign trade.


Historically, Jamaica has had close ties with the UK. Trade, financial, and cultural relations with the United States are now predominant. Jamaica is linked with the other countries of the English-speaking Caribbean through the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and more broadly through the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). Jamaica has served two 2-year terms on the United Nations Security Council, in 1979-80 and in 2000-2001.

In the follow-on meetings to the December 1994 Summit of the Americas, Jamaica—together with Uruguay—was given the responsibility of coordinating discussions on invigorating society.

Bilateral Relations

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia1 December 1995

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 1 December 1995.

 Belize3 November 1982
 Brazil14 October 1962See Jamaica–Brazil relations

Jamaica and Brazil established diplomatic relations on October 14, 1962. Both countries are full members of the Group of 15.

 Canada1962See Canada–Jamaica relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1962. Since March 4, 1963, Canada has a high commission in Kingston. Jamaica has a high commission in Ottawa. On April 15, 2009, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper became the first Canadian head of government to address the Jamaican parliament. There are 231,000 people of Jamaican descent living in Canada. Jamaican-Canadians celebrate their island heritage through festivals held in major cities across Canada, the most recognized of which is Caribana. Caribana is held in Toronto, Ontario every year and attracts over one million visitors to the region, many of whom fly all the way from Jamaica.


Prime Minister Percival James Patterson visited Cuba at the end of May 1997. In the fall of 1997, Jamaica upgraded its consulate in Havana to an embassy, and the nonresident Jamaican ambassador to Cuba was replaced by a resident ambassador.

 China21 November 1972See China–Jamaica relations

Relations from November 21, 1972. China has an embassy in Kingston, Jamaica. Jamaica has an embassy in Beijing.

 Ghana See Ghana-Jamaica relations

Ghana, as the former Gold Coast, and Jamaica share historical links through the slave trade and forced Ashanti/Akan emigration to the Caribbean. Ghana and Jamaica have a Joint Permanent Commission, and there are plans for Ghanaian investment in Jamaica.

 Guyana26 May 1966

Haiti has an embassy in Kingston and Jamaica has an honorary consul in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

In January, 2007, Haitian President René Préval, made a four-day working visit to Jamaica. At a press conference, Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced that a Joint Jamaica/Haiti Commission would be convened later that year.[3]

 IndiaSee India–Jamaica relations

Both nations inherited many cultural and political connections from British colonisation, such as membership in the Commonwealth of Nations, parliamentary democracy, the English language and cricket.[4][5]

India has a High Commission in Kingston,[6] whilst Jamaica has a consulate in New Delhi.[7]

 JapanSee Jamaica-Japan relations
  • Japan has an embassy in Kingston.
  • Jamaica has an embassy in Tokyo.
 Kenya1976See Jamaica–Kenya relations
  • Jamaica is accredited to Kenya from its high commission in Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Kenya is accredited to Jamaica from its embassy in Havana, Cuba.
 MalaysiaSee Jamaica–Malaysia relations
 Mexico18 March 1966See Jamaica–Mexico relations

Both nation established diplomatic relations on 18 March 1966.


Nicaragua has an embassy in Kingston. Jamaica is represented through its embassy in Mexico City.


Various discussions of aspects of Pakistan-Jamaica relations and the possible ways and means to further strengthen these relations. The potential for enhancing cooperation between the two countries. Pakistan emphasized that the excellent bilateral relationship which existed between Pakistan and Jamaica since the establishment season diplomatic relations in 1962 needed to be translated into mutually beneficial cooperation in tourism, trade, investment, education, health, science and technology and improved people to people contacts.

 South Korea13 October 1962

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the Jamaica started on October 13, 1962 .[10]

  • Jamaica has an embassy in Seoul, South Korea.[11]
  • South Korea has an embassy in Kingston Jamaica.[12]
 United Kingdom

Jamaica is the UK's third largest export market in the Caribbean after Puerto Rico and Trinidad & Tobago. In 2010, British exports were valued at £68.4 million—an increase of 48% over the previous year and imports at £47.8 million. The UK’s main exports to Jamaica are chemicals, manufactured goods, machinery, pharmaceuticals and food products. There are opportunities for UK companies in the following sectors: Education, Information Communications Technology, Agriculture, Health, Water and Renewable Energy.

 United StatesSee Jamaica–United States relations

The United States maintains close and productive relations with the Government of Jamaica. Former Prime Minister Patterson visited Washington, DC, several times after assuming office in 1992. In April 2001, Prime Minister Patterson and other Caribbean leaders met with President George W. Bush during the Summit of the Americas in Quebec, Canada, at which a "Third Border Initiative" was launched to deepen U.S. cooperation with Caribbean nations and enhance economic development and integration of the Caribbean nations. Then-Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller attended the "Conference on the Caribbean--A 20/20 Vision" in Washington in June 2007.

President Barack Obama visited the island on April 9. 2015. President Obama managed to squeeze in some fun in between meetings with Jamaican and Caribbean leaders on his trip to Jamaica this week—from paying homage to reggae star Bob Marley to practicing his own Jamaican accent.

The United States is Jamaica's most important trading partner: bilateral trade in goods in 2005 was over $2 billion. Jamaica is a popular destination for American tourists; more than 1.2 million Americans visited in 2006. In addition, some 10,000 American citizens, including many dual-nationals born on the island, permanently reside in Jamaica.

Jamaica maintains economic and cultural relations with Taiwan via Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada.

Jamaica and the Commonwealth

Jamaica has been a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations since 1962, when it became an independent Commonwealth realm.

Multilateral membership

African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, Caricom, CCC, Caribbean Development Bank, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Food and Agriculture Organization, G-15, G-33, G-77, Inter-American Development Bank, International Atomic Energy Agency, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Civil Aviation Organization, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, International Fund for Agricultural Development, International Finance Corporation, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Hydrographic Organization (pending member), International Labour Organization, International Monetary Fund, International Telecommunication Union, Intelsat, Interpol, International Olympic Committee, International Organization for Migration, International Organization for Standardization, International Telecommunication Union, Latin American Economic System, Non-Aligned Movement, Organization of American States, OPANAL, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, United Nations, UN Security Council (temporary), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNESCO, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Universal Postal Union, World Health Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization, World Meteorological Organization, World Tourism Organization, World Trade Organization

See also


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