Prime Minister Bruce Golding has told China’s businessmen and potential investors that Jamaica wants to move its relations with China to a new phase, one that will look at establishing greater investment links with that country.
He said the relationship between Jamaica and China has been through many phases, initially through programmes of cultural exchanges, to financial assistance in the forms of grants and loans to the Government of Jamaica to undertake important public projects. More recently it has involved the provision of lines of credit and Chinese companies undertaking major projects in Jamaica, as part of the programme of economic co-operation. The Prime Minister said this has brought great benefits to Jamaica in its quest to achieve the kind of development that can ensure a good quality of life for the people of Jamaica.
While in Beijing: In between a series of meetings with state and private sector heads, Prime Minister took the time out to see the China’s National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) to see for himself the place where Usain Bolt made Jamaica proud with his record breaking performances.
However, Mr. Golding noted that the primary focus of his visit to China at this time is to see how to move that spirit of cooperation into a new and exciting dimension and to build on the foundation laid since 1972 when formal diplomatic relations were established.
Mr. Golding was addressing a luncheon of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade in Beijing yesterday which saw presentations by the Industry and Commerce Minister Karl Samuda on the range of opportunities that exist for doing business in Jamaica.
Mr. Golding said ‘We believe that Jamaica offers China tremendous opportunities in terms of its global reach and the penetration it is so effectively seeking throughout the world. Jamaica is positioned one-and-a-half hours by air from North America and even less from Central America, within a region that has a population of over 700million people. We see Jamaica as a strategic location that would enhance investments from China seeking to address the growing demands in this particular part of the world’.
Mr. Golding noted that much would have to be done to put the infrastructure in place but he expressed the hope that the exchanges which have been taking place during his various meetings in China will lay a platform to build this exciting phase of the economic relations between Jamaica and China.
The Prime Minister said his aim is to market Jamaica as an investment destination.