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Jamaica: Holness Pushes to Adopt Spanish as Second Language

Jamaica is considering adopting Spanish as the country’s second language due to the potential attached to the growing number of Spanish investments, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said.


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During a speech in Trelawny Thursday, Holness said that incorporating the language into the Caribbean country’s society would strengthen the “bilateral cooperation” with Spain and encourage further business endeavors.

“With so much investment from Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries in the region, I think very soon we will have to emphasize and put in place programmes that make Spanish a second language,” Holness said, noting the two nation’s long-standing relationship dating back centuries.

Spain’s business investments in hotels, wellness centers, and construction projects have contributed to at least US$1.7 billion to Jamaica’s tourism industry.

Holness commended the opening of the new chain of luxury hotels, the first being Excellence Oyster Bay Hotel in Trelawny, which was part of the business agreement included in the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Madrid last May.

The concord fortified bilateral, regional, and multilateral relations in the trade, investment, tourism, energy, agriculture, and education sectors.

Antonio de Montaner, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Excellence Group, Luxury Hotels, and Resorts, said the launching of the hotel franchize signified the industry’s true commitment to Jamaica.

“Throughout this whole process, we worked with 350 local suppliers, who provided an astounding total of US$70 million worth of goods and services. Additionally, we created over 1,500 jobs for Jamaicans during the construction phase and a further 700 new jobs in connection to the daily operation of the resort,” said De Montaner.

Holness said the government plans to do everything in its power encourage further investments.