(MENAFN- Caribbean News Global)
By Embassy of Jamaica, Washington, DC
WASHINGTON, USA – Minister of industry, investment and commerce, senator Aubyn Hill, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Georgia Aquarium, as Jamaica explores opportunities in the blue economy towards national development.
The MoU was signed at a reception hosted by the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta, at the Georgia Aquarium on Wednesday, May 24, and formed part of the minister's two-day trade visit to Atlanta.
The World Bank defines the blue economy as the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs, while preserving the health of the marine and coastal ecosystem.
In his remarks, senator Hill said Jamaica was pleased to be a part of the blue economy initiative.
He commended Jamaica's Consul General to Miami with responsibility to Atlanta Oliver Mair, whose initiative it was to partner with the Atlanta Aquarium.
For his part, president and chief executive officer of Georgia Aquarium, Dr Brian Davis, explained that the memorandum signed, was made possible from previous meetings, as well as work conducted over the last two years in Jamaica with local partners.
“We believe that we are in a strong position to explore working closely with the Government of Jamaica in a number of aspects,” Dr Davis said.
Under the signed MoU, commercial cooperation by way of the purchase of ornamental fish for their location, as well as the aquarium industry in the United States of America (USA) is expected.
In addition, the Atlanta Aquarium will be working with the government of Jamaica to assist in skills and capacity training and development, to support aquatic sustainability including animal care and life support systems.
Both parties will also work towards the protection of important marine areas through the establishment of fish sanctuaries in Jamaica. This will build on the work done so far in Jamaica, for the two new sanctuaries being gazetted.
Also, under the MoU, Georgia Aquarium will work with the government of Jamaica to conduct research and education on sharks, towards the possible establishment of a shark sanctuary in Jamaica.
An exchange programme is also being looked at to facilitate the exchange of students and early career professionals, to gain exposure to relevant training programmes and environments both in the USA and Jamaica.
Both parties will also work towards the establishment of a Port Royal exhibition at the Georgia Aquarium, which will highlight Port Royal and the marine protected areas.
The Georgia Aquarium is the most popular visitor attraction in the state of Georgia, generating over US$120 million in estimated annual revenues, and has stimulated over US$5 billion of investments in the city of Atlanta.
While in Atlanta, Senator Hill met with several business interests and addressed a business breakfast sponsored by the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce of Altana.
He also attended a town hall meeting by members of the Jamaican community in Atlanta.
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