JIS News

The Governments of Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China yesterday Thursday (Feb. 12) signed agreements to facilitate expansion of technical and economic cooperation, which will assist Jamaica to the tune of approximately US$118 million (J$10 billion).
Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, headed teams of officials from both countries, who participated in the signing ceremony at Jamaica House, formalizing the framework for the support which Jamaica will receive from China.
The provisions include a cooperation agreement between the Export-Import Banks (EX-IM) of both countries, to establish a US$100 million line of credit for short term trade financing; a US$10 million agreement for concessional financing between the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), and the Chinese National Development Bank; a US$7.3 million provision for technical and economic support; and a US$1.1 million agreement for the provision of agricultural equipment and machinery.
In addition, agreements were reached on technical and economic support for: the establishment of a Chinese garden at the Hope Botanical Gardens; the continuation of a water supply system and repair of road at Sligoville, St. Catherine; and the establishment of the Confucius Institute at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), for the teaching of the Chinese language, a collaboration between the UWI and the Confucius Institute in China.
In a brief statement following the signing, Prime Minister Golding noted that China has provided valuable assistance, at a time when the capital markets are closed to countries like Jamaica.
He said that the provisions will enable Jamaica to weather the global, economic, and financial storm.
He also disclosed that discussions are continuing between both countries on a number of important initiatives, at the level of the government, and that local private sector stakeholders are engaging their Chinese counterparts in discussions of mutual interest.
“I am satisfied, based on the discussions I have had with the Vice President, that there are no limits to the extent to which cooperation between Jamaica and China can grow and expand,” Mr. Golding said.
He and Vice President Xi also discussed matters pertaining to the global economic landscape, adding that there is consensus on the need for major reform in the multilateral infrastructure.
“We share the view that the international financial and economic architecture will have to be reformed, in order to recognize the importance of developing countries, and the significant role that a country like China is playing in global economic dynamics,” Mr. Golding stated.
“It is quite clear to me that cooperation between Jamaica and China will move beyond just the parameters of bilateral arrangements, to seek to effect meaningful change to the global financial and economic arrangements,” he stated.
Mr. Golding advised that he will take up an official invitation extended by China to visit that country at a mutually convenient time later this year.
In response, Vice President Xi, who is visiting Jamaica for the first time, highlighted the growth in bilateral relations between both nations and opined that further consolidation and development of this partnership will serve the fundamental interests of both countries.
The Vice President said that both he and Prime Minister Golding have agreed to pursue three key areas of mutual interest: furthering the principle of mutual political respect and trust; deepening cooperation for mutually economic benefits and outcomes; and deepening cultural ties.