Johannesburg - South Africa would like to see increased volumes of trade and investment with Jamaica, President Jacob Zuma said on an official visit to the county.

“We are committed to encourage and facilitate South African companies doing business in Jamaica, resulting in the steady growth in trade and investment between our two countries,” Zuma said on Monday.

“In the same vein, both countries agreed to encourage people-to-people contacts through cultural, scientific and educational exchange programmes and tourism.”

Zuma was speaking after a bilateral meeting with the prime minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller.

He said during they had recommitted themselves to deepening relations in various areas of co-operation.

“Government and the peoples of South Africa will be focusing more on co-operation in science and technology, sports, education and agriculture, while pursuing economic co-operation.”

The governments of the two countries had already waived visa requirements for all South African and Jamaican passport holders, Zuma said.

He said this provision facilitated the smooth movement of people involved in music, education and sport.

“During our discussions… we also envisaged co-operation amongst our universities on joint research projects, student and academic exchange programmes,” he said.

“The talks are a clear indication of our collective determination to take our relations to higher levels for the mutual benefit of our respective countries.”

Zuma said they were still negotiating several other agreements.

This is Zuma's first working visit to the island and he will join in the year-long celebrations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's independence. - Sapa