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KINGSTON — Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China, His Excellency Hui Liangyu, has pledged his Government’s commitment to assisting Jamaica with its economic and social development.

Speaking on September 19, following the signing of two grant agreements and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Agricultural Co-operation between both countries at Jamaica House, Mr. Hui said discussions with Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, earlier, not only reviewed the diplomatic relations which the nations have shared for the past 39 years, but looked at how best future co-operation can be strengthened.

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“Both of us have expressed (the) importance we attach to our traditional friendship, and our commitment to further deepening our friendship and promoting co-operation in various areas. There have been not only proposals coming out of the discussions, but also steps and the policy measures to be taken in the years to come,” he said,  noting that the signing of the agreements and MoU were evidence of this.

Under the grant agreements, signed by State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Marlene Malahoo-Forte, and China’s Vice Minister of Commerce, Jiang Yaoping, 20 million Renminbi yuan (US$3.07 million) is being provided through an Agreement on Technical Co-operation to fund projects that will be the subject of specific supplementary agreements between both countries.

The second agreement entailed the exchange of Letters for a Grant of RMB 1 million (US$153,846) for materials from China, which will be provided at the request of the Jamaican Government, subject to agreement between both administrations.

The MoU on Agricultural Co-operation, signed by Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Robert Montague and Mr. Jiang, seeks to identify priority areas, including agricultural mechanisation and trade promotion; climate change adaptation; disaster risk management; alternative energy in agriculture; and information and communications technology (ICT) in agriculture.

Mr. Golding, who hosted the meetings and signings, informed that those grants, along with a commitment of RMB30 million (US$4.61 million), which he received from another of China’s Vice Premiers, Wang Qishan, just over a week ago during a meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, bring to over RMB50 million (US$7.69 million) , the total sum Jamaica has received from the Asian nation within seven days.

Vice Premier Hui said that China is interested in the economic and social development of Jamaica, and that more important than the signing of the agreements, is the actual implementation of their provisions.

“We would like to work with the relevant Government departments and various quarters on the Jamaican side to continue to deepen our friendship, and work for even greater progress in our bi-lateral co-operation. We sincerely thank you for the enormous efforts the (Jamaican) Government has made in promoting our bi-lateral friendship under the leadership of the Honourable Prime Minister,” Mr. Hui said.

 

By Douglas Mcintosh, JIS Reporter