Thank you, master of ceremonies Miss Fae Ellington
The Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller
Leader of the Opposition
Honourable Dr. Horace Chang
Minister without Portfolio, Office of the Prime Minister
Honorable Daryl Vaz
Honourable Mike Henry
Minister of Transport and Mining
Other Members of the Cabinet and Parliament
His Excellency Mr. Niu Qingbao
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica
Mr Ziyu Sun
Vice President, China Communications Construction Company Ltd
His Worship the Mayor Councillor Norman Scott
Mayor of Spanish Town
Reverend the Honourable Jeffrey McKenzie
Custos Rotulorum for St. Catherine
Mr. Yichong Lin
President of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC)
Mr. Yingtao Shi
Vice President, of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC)
Mr. Xiaofeng Wang
General Manager, Jamaica North South Highway Co. Ltd
Mr. Ivan Anderson
Managing Director, National Road Operating & Construction Co. (NROCC)
Heads of Departments and Agencies
Members of the Private Sector
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am very pleased to be opening today, the North-South Link of Highway 2000.
In any country, the sheer magnitude of this infrastructure development, in construction undertaking, civil engineering complexity, investment size US$600m, distance covered 67km (approx 41) and potential for transformation, would be considered significant, indeed a feat to be accomplished.
Jamaica, in partnership with our friends, China Harbour Engineering Company and their parent company China Communication and Construction Company, and with the blessing and active support of the Government of China, we have achieved this feat.
This road also represents the success of Partnership between the Government of Jamaica and Government of China, but moreso in a real sense, a partnership between the people of Jamaica and the people of China, in a real way, the workers of Jamaica and the workers of China, who undoubtedly had to overcome language and culture obstacles, to complete the highway on time and in budget.
This highway is a testimony to the industry and ingenuity of the Jamaican and Chinese labour and skills.
I also want to acknowledge the work of the first developers of the road, Bouygues Construction Limited. For a time, it seemed that this would be a road that was going nowhere. Technical and financial difficulties halted works.