A multi-discipline delegation visited Jamaica between Tuesday, March 3 and Friday, March 6.

The delegation which was in the island at the invitation of Transport and Works Minister, Mike Henry engaged in talks mainly dealing with transportation and public works projects. To that end, the delegation met with the Ministry of Transport and Works, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), the Port Authority of Jamaica, the Caribbean Maritime Institute among others.

On Thursday, March 5, the group handed over a Bus Simulator to the Jamaican Government. The Simulator is being housed at the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) and will be used to train bus drivers operating the new Belgian Jonckheere buses, fifty of which were recently delivered to the JUTC. The Bus Driver Simulator has been designed and constructed by Transurb-Technirail, the Belgian Company that was responsible for the design of the Half Way Tree Transport Centre. It will play a vital role in enhancing the JUTC’s driver training programme and ultimately the skills, competence and protocol among the company’s drivers.

Other areas of co-operation that have been discussed between the two countries include, the Falmouth Port Development, the Vernamfield multi-modal transport project, aspects of the rail resuscitation project as well as Highway 2000.

Companies represented in the Belgian delegation were part of the following sectors: public and private finance (Finexpo, Commerzbank Belgium); transport (VDL Jonkheere, Transurb Technirail); civil engineering Works (Besix); marine works (Dredging International, Besix).

The Belgian-Luxembourg-ACP Chamber of Commerce was also represented as part of the delegation in order to enhance the bi-lateral trade opportunities between Belgium and Jamaica.

Commenting on the visit of the delegation, Minister Mike Henry said, “We are very grateful for the presence of the delegation; we have engaged in some very satisfying discussions and we expect positive outcomes.

For his part, Belgian Ambassador in Jamaica, Frederic Meurice said that the presence of the trade mission attested to the strong commitment that both countries continue to share.