Maria Garcia, new ambassador to Dominica. Photo credit: GIS

New Ambassador from the Kingdom of Spain to Dominica, Her Excellency Maria Garcia, has given a commitment that Dominica and Spain will continue to nurture relations enjoyed since formalizing diplomatic relations in 1986.

Her Excellency Garcia gave that assurance when she officially presented her letters of credentials to Dominica’s Head of State recently.

“This establishment of diplomatic relations between Spain and Dominica in 1990 have been characterised by harmony and friendship. It is my intention to build on this solid base to further enhance the relations between our Governments and the people of both our countries,” she said. “Dominica has, over the years, benefitted through its relationship with Spain in the areas of human resource development and technical and financial assistance. This level of assistance has been channelled through multilateral arrangements with the European Union, CARICOM and the OECS.”

Ambassador Garcia said that Spain, in the past, has been known to provide technical cooperation to CARICOM Member States in several areas including tourism.

“Through the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development, Spain funds a number of cooperation projects at the regional level within CARICOM and the OECS primarily in areas of sensitive interest to Caribbean economies such as tourism, agriculture, health and institutional support. Spain shares with Dominica an acute awareness of the important role that tourism can play as a source of economic growth through creation of employment and as a means of attracting foreign exchange income,” she pointed out.

Meantime Dominica’s Head of State, His Excellency Dr. Nicholas Liverpool, issued a challenge to the Spanish Government through its representative, Ambassador Garcia, to consider investing in hotel development in the north of Dominica.

“In January 2010, Ambassador Jesus De Silva reiterated that Spanish investors were interested in investing in other islands of the region besides Jamaica where Spanish hotel chains are building thirteen (13) new hotels. In that regard, Dominica’s northern front with Portsmouth as its hub could be explored as a potential special hotel development zone targeted at Spanish interest with a focus on ecology, culture and heritage tourism,” he said.

Her Excellency Garcia, who will serve in a non-resident capacity, replaces His Excellency Jesus Silva Fernandez.