JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Construction of new offices downtown Kingston to house the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is expected to get underway this fiscal year.
  • The project is being implemented by the Ministry through funding from the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
  • The project is slated for completion by December 2016.

Construction of new offices downtown Kingston to house the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is expected to get underway this fiscal year.

A sum of $666 million has been set aside in the 2016/17 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives, to carry out the works.

The new facility will provide adequate accommodation for staff, meeting and conference rooms, and waiting areas for diplomats and other visitors.

The relocation of the Ministry is also aimed at contributing to the redevelopment of downtown Kingston.

The project is being implemented by the Ministry through funding from the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

To date, feasibility and storm surge studies for the project have been completed, so too geological, bathymetric and topographic surveys, and schematic design of the building has been reviewed.

In addition, ownership of the land has been transferred from the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) to the Ministry and a contract has been signed between the Ministry and the Chinese.

Preliminary design has been completed by the Chinese and reviewed by local consultants; and a Memorandum of Agreement has been drafted between the Ministry and the UDC, to authorise the implementation of the Government’s obligations, including construction of coastal revetment and site preparation.

Among the anticipated physical targets for the 2016/17 period are: commencement and completion of coastal revetment and drainage works; undertaking minor works inclusive of clearing and removal of palm trees in preparation for construction; and securing building approvals and permits from the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and National Water Commission (NWC), among other agencies.

In addition, temporary access will be provided to municipal water supply and electricity; completion of construction drawings; and commencement of civil works activity.

It is expected that 10 percent of the project will be completed this fiscal year.

The project is slated for completion by December 2016. It was originally scheduled to run from April 2008 to December 2010, then further extended from January 2011 to December 2014.