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Story Highlights

  • The strong diplomatic relations Jamaica shares with China has enabled a significant number of Jamaicans to benefit from technical cooperation assistance programmes.
  • The Human Resource Development Cooperation Programme has seen some 600 Jamaicans from government participating in study tours and exchanges.
  • Senator Falconer was among some 111 persons, who benefited from the programme this year.

Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, is hailing the strong diplomatic relations Jamaica shares with the People’s Republic of China, which has, among other things, enabled a significant number of Jamaicans to benefit from technical cooperation assistance programmes provided by the Asian country.

One such is the Human Resource Development Cooperation Programme, which has seen some 600 Jamaicans from government ministries, departments, and agencies participating in study tours and exchanges, upwards of the past four years.

Senator Falconer was among some 111 persons, who benefited from the programme this year. She and a number of the other participants were guests at a special reception held on Tuesday, December 17, at the Chinese Ambassador’s Seaview Avenue residence in St. Andrew, to provide feedback on their experiences.

In her remarks, Senator Falconer conveyed the Jamaican Government’s gratitude to China and the local diplomatic Mission for their efforts in facilitating the visits. She underscored the importance of the focus on human resource development, which she described as being “about much more than physical and infrastructural change.”

“It embraces the sharing of experiences, establishing meaningful people contact, and learning new insights, which can assist in the discharge of our responsibilities. The fact that this year alone, over 100 Jamaicans were able to participate and benefit under this human resource development programme…is a clear indication of the magnitude of the relationship between our two countries,” she stated.

From a personal standpoint, Senator Falconer, who attended a programme for Information Ministers of developing nations in November, underscored the “usefulness” of the exchanges among her colleague participants.

“It provided me with an opportunity to examine China’s economy, development strategy, operations and innovations in broadcasting organizations, new media developments and of course, its amazing culture. The sharing of knowledge and experiences with colleagues from other countries is also a powerful learning strategy and I returned from the experience much better equipped and more aware of what is going on in other developing countries,” she shared.

Senator Falconer urged the other participants to use the experience to make improvements in the execution of their duties.

“Indeed, if I may speak on the basis of my experience, I know that all of you would have found the opportunity a fruitful and rewarding one, and the knowledge gained has better equipped you to carry out your responsibilities. Let me encourage you never to lose sight of the fact that the extent to which you continue to hold your head high and perform with excellence will help determine the opportunity for others. You are not only a reflection of the agency of government you work with, but your country and the Chinese government that has invested its resources in your future success,” she added.

The Minister also expressed the hope that the programme will expand to benefit more Jamaicans and will serve to further deepen the diplomatic relations between Jamaica and China, which dates back to 1972.

“Jamaica values, greatly, the partnership and friendship with China and we see tremendous opportunities in the years ahead for our respective countries (as) China continues its dynamic path of growth and aggressive overseas investments,” she stated.

Senator Falconer expressed the hope that the participants’ feedback will be “useful” to the Mission Chinese government in terms assisting them to plan for future exchanges.

In his remarks, China’s Ambassador, His Excellency Dong Xiaojun, noted the significant strengthening of diplomatic relations between both countries, particularly during 2013, which he said, was highlighted by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller’s official visit to China in August.

Her visit, Mr. Dong said, yielded “fruitful discussions” with the China’s top leaders resulting in both countries reaching “very good consensus” on matters of mutual interest.

“We enjoyed very frequent high level exchanges between our countries and economic and trade cooperation has been expanded. And so, as the new Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, during my tour of duty here, I will work very hard with my colleagues and also with our Jamaican friends to further enhance the good relations between China and Jamaica,” he said.

Ambassador Dong also gave an undertaking to lobby, through the Embassy, for an increase in the number of Jamaicans participating in the study tours and exchange programmes, pointing out that “we want to establish a platform for us to have an exchange of ideas and also enhance contacts between us.”

“I hope that you will…work together with Chinese Embassy to make contributions to the further development of bi-lateral relations between China and Jamaica,” he stated.

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