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The process of relocating the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to downtown Kingston, has started with a $34 million allocation in the 2009/10 Budget.
The process has begun with the procuring of the land. During 2009/10, it will aim to complete the architectural, site, engineering and geological surveys, feasibility studies and the design phase, and prepare a production document for the project.
The Ministry will be provided with customized office facilities, which will adequately support its needs, in terms of the accommodation of staff, meeting and conference facilities and waiting area for diplomatic and other visitors.
The project will also contribute to the development of downtown Kingston, by virtue of the relocation of the Ministry to that area, and to obviate the cost to government arising from a high level of office rental in New Kingston, where the Ministry is currently located.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding stated last year, that the Government would be making efforts, starting this year, to reduce the more than $1 billion it is currently paying for property rentals. The Prime Minister instructed that Government offices currently located in downtown Kingston should remain there, while efforts are made to relocate other ministries and agencies downtown.
He announced plans to relocate the ministry on waterfront lands on which the legendary Myrtle Bank Hotel was previously located. The plan is also to encourage foreign diplomatic missions to relocate downtown, as part of the process of redevelopment.
The project is being funded by the governments of Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China and is scheduled to be completed by December, 2011.

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