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A group of Chinese experts will arrive in Jamaica before month end to carry out the site survey of the project to restore the Jamaica railway transportation system. The agreement for the rehabilitation of the railway was one of six agreements signed during the official visit of Prime Minister Patterson to the People’s Republic of China, Describing the new development as “exciting”, Mr. Patterson said that Jamaica was the first country in the Western Hemisphere, including the USA and Canada to establish the railway. He was speaking at a second Jamaica/China business seminar that was held in Shanghai yesterday (June 23, 2005).
The other agreements cover the areas of bauxite, education, business travel and technical cooperation.
Mr. Patterson said that Multiple-entry visas will be issued to Jamaicans and Chinese citizens who will travel to both countries for the purposes of business. The new visa regime comes into effect on August 1, 2005 and aims to facilitate easy travel for the citizens.
Prime Minister Patterson said that Jamaica and China have a sound foundation in diplomatic and economic relations that have served both countries well in trade, business and investments. “Despite our disparity in size we have shown that big and small can work together to eliminate poverty and achieve prosperity for the developing world”. He said that the time had come for China and Jamaica, two of the most influential countries in the developing world, to forge a common partnership for the elimination of poverty and the achievement of prosperity for peoples in the developing world. .
Expressing admiration for the scientific approach to economic development that is being taken in Shanghai, the Jamaican Prime Minister said that he was interested in benchmarking the approach in Jamaica’s development and particularly that of Montego Bay.
Mr. Patterson invited the business persons to take advantage of the investment opportunities in Jamaica but singled out the construction of China Town as an important investment idea for Chinese entrepreneurs. The construction of China Town in one of our oldest commercial districts in downtown Kingston, and is one of the investment opportunities that should be of interest to you”, the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Patterson told the gathering that Jamaica was the gateway to the Caribbean with a market penetration of over 14 million consumers. He said that the country was also the gateway to North and South American markets because of its geographic location.
“It may appear that because Jamaica has a population of only 2.7 million people, which is miniscule, compared to China’s, you would not achieve economies of scale in your operations. However, when you invest in Jamaica, you are investing in a single economic space under the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).
The Prime Minister assured business persons who want to invest in Jamaica that their investments would be safe as Jamaica was experiencing a stable economic climate and had good financial and legal systems.