Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith (left) and
Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, Tian Qi (right), exchange the signed agreements under the
Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), at the Ministry in New Kingston on April 11.
Jamaica and China have a new agreement that the Government says could bring more economic and infrastructural development.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, and Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, Tian Qi, signed a Memorandum of Understanding under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on Thursday (April 11).
The BRI is a new model of international development cooperation, promoting broad and inclusive connectivity across countries and regions. Through the initiative, the Chinese are expected to invest heavily in a country’s infrastructure and economy.
Senator Johnson Smith said the MOU allows the two countries to identify specific proposals for projects in priority areas. She said that under the BRI, Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China will seek to deepen collaboration so as to promote greater connectivity in the areas of trade, facilities and infrastructure, policy coordination, financial systems and people-to-people connections.
“Such connectivity and the potential it holds, can serve as a catalyst for bringing Jamaica closer to attainment of our economic growth and sustainable development goals,” she added.
Senator Johnson Smith said that the new framework, coupled with existing bilateral mechanisms “can provide impetus for increased trade and investment as well as channel support to critical sectors, such as infrastructure, logistics, and manufacturing.”
The partnership between the two countries has resulted in many tangible outcomes, she said, citing acquisition of Alpart in 2016 by Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO) and the proposed development of an industrial park and special economic zone alongside the JISCO/Alpart operations in Nain, St. Elizabeth.
The Minister further mentioned the western children’s hospital project, completion of two state-of-the-art early childhood institutions last year, as well as the Bright Journey Eye Care Mission now underway at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), where hundreds of persons are receiving cataract surgeries.