PM to push for Spanish as official second language

Career & Education

PM to push for Spanish as official second language

Sunday, October 21, 2018

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Pointing to the number of Spanish investment projects in the island, Prime Minister Andrew Holness argues that it is of strategic importance that Spanish become the official second language in Jamaica.

Delivering the keynote address at the formal opening of Excellence Oyster Bay Hotel in Trelawny Thursday last, Holness said that bilateral cooperation with that country could be even stronger by encouraging greater use of the Spanish language here.

“We do take note of the Spanish investment of US$1.7 billion in Jamaica's tourism industry. This is evident in the 14 hotels, wellness centres and construction projects undertaken by Spanish companies across the island,” he said.

Holness pointed out that Spain is now one of the leading sources of direct foreign investments in Jamaica, with 25 per cent of the rooms built here the product of Spanish investments.

“With so much investment from Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries in the region, I think very soon we will have to emphasise and put in place programmes that make Spanish a second language,” Holness argued.

The relationship between Jamaica and Spain has been “successful, meaningful and mutually beneficial” for centuries, the prime minister said, and further strengthening is expected. To that end, he also cited the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries in Madrid, Spain, back in May to facilitate the deepening of bilateral, regional and multilateral relations to include areas of trade and investment, tourism, energy, agriculture and education.

Situated on the private peninsula of Oyster Bay, the US$110-million resort offers an adult-only all-inclusive experience to a select high-end clientele. It features 315 suites, with panoramic ocean views and direct beach access.

It is owned by the Excellence Group, a family-owned and operated resort chain specialising in hotel management and worldwide real estate development.

“The Excellence Group will be building on our investment in Jamaica where, in the immediate future, through the development of the second phase of Excellence Oyster Bay, we should soon be seeing some impressive beach villas with private pools,” Chief Executive Officer of Excellence Group Antonio de Montaner said on Thursday.

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