The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade will relocate from its offices in New Kingston to its new headquarters at 20 Port Royal Street in downtown Kingston, in the first quarter of this calendar year.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, gave this update during the Ministry’s first virtual press conference for 2021, which was broadcast online from the Ministry in New Kingston, on Tuesday (January 26).
“On the matter of relocation to the new Ministry of Foreign Affairs [and Foreign Trade] building, we are aware of keen public interest in the move to our new headquarters. Having had some delays, which are Covidian and otherwise, we are now on course to occupy the building in this first quarter of calendar year 2021,” the Minister said.
“There had been some technical issues in relation to the electrical works, which have been remedied, and certain furniture and fittings that had been ordered were delayed as a result of supply chain issues and shipping issues, which have also been solved. Those matters having been sorted out, they’re now in the final stages of getting the building ready for actual occupation,” she added.
Construction of the building was completed and handed over to the Ministry in October 2019. The Government had set aside a sum of $83.3 million to furnish the new Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade building in this fiscal year.
The building was constructed on 11,700 square metres by the Jiangsu Jiangdu Construction Group Co. Limited of China. The building consists of an 11-storey structure with a two-storey annex building, a generator room, boundary wall, parking area, and 17 department levels to accommodate 285 staff members.
The building also boasts a conference room, a children’s centre, a dining area, as well as an area for medical care, leisure and recreation, and an auxiliary room and is a marked improvement on the Ministry’s current location in New Kingston.
Minister Johnson Smith noted that an updated figure for the expenditure will be given when the next budget is presented.