- The Minister pointed to the facilitation of cultural exchanges as well as travel.
- Jamaica has also benefitted from assistance provided by the Chinese.
- Jamaica’s close co-operation with China is evident at the multilateral level.
Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson, has hailed the work of the Jamaica-China Friendship Association in promoting and strengthening relations between the two countries.
“Over the years, the work of the Jamaica/China Friendship Association has complemented the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade as we seek to develop new ways of enhancing our bilateral relations,” said Senator Nicholson.
He was addressing the Association’s annual dinner in celebration of the National Day of the People’s Republic of China, held on Sunday, October 27, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.
The Minister pointed to the facilitation of cultural exchanges, exposure to Chinese history, exhibitions showcasing Chinese art and culture, as well as travel by members of the Association to China to meet with high-level representatives of the Chinese Government in pursuit of its overall aims and objectives.
He said that Jamaica has also benefitted from assistance provided by the Chinese in areas such as bauxite mining, the sugar industry, trade and infrastructure development, with a focus on road-building and maintenance.
“So far this year, 70 Jamaicans have been trained in various fields from available short courses in China including: agriculture, engineering, public administration, environment and climate change. The scholarships are fully funded by the Government of the People’s Republic of China,” he informed.
The Minister posited that the visit by Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller to China in August of this year, during which a number of beneficial agreements were signed, has put the strength of the bilateral partnership in greater perspective.
“Since then, reciprocal visits have been made by several high-level delegations. It is my understanding that the Minister of Education only just recently returned from China after a successful visit, and the Minister with responsibility for Information is currently in China attending a workshop. Last week, a small team of Chinese technocrats visited Jamaica to finalise plans for the construction of the Confucius Institute,” he informed.
He further noted that Jamaica’s close co-operation with China is evident at the multilateral level where the countries collaborate on issues of mutual interest in organisations such as the United Nations, within the Group of 77 and China, and in various other bodies.
The Minister said that he looked forward to the strengthening of the role of Association as it seeks to cement the already close bonds of friendship shared between Jamaica and China, for the benefit of the citizens of both countries.
“On behalf of the Government of Jamaica, on the occasion of the Jamaica/China Friendship Association’s celebration of China’s National Day, we wish to reiterate our appreciation for the continued devotion of the Association to the spirit of collaboration and camaraderie, which has characterised relations between Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China over these years,” Senator Nicholson toasted.
The Jamaica China Friendship Association (JCFA) was founded in 1976 with a view to increasing knowledge, friendship and cultural cooperation between the two countries.