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Holness reveals new economic partnership with China

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness has revealed details of a new strategic partnership with the People's Republic of China, which focuses on trade and increased investments in areas such as special economic zones.

In a statement on his recent official visit to China to the House of Representatives on Tuesday night, Holness said that the new partnership reflects an enhancement level of engagement between the two countries, within the context of Jamaica's participation in the China developed Belt and Road Initiative.

He said that the partnership will position Jamaica to pursue development cooperation with China, in keeping with its own “clearly defined” national development strategic priorities, on the basis of mutual respect and shared benefits.

“The two governments have agreed to focus on efforts to increase trade, particularly to encourage more Jamaicans goods and services to be exported to the Chinese market,” Holness said.

He added that the process has already begun with the export of live Jamaican lobsters into China, and that his government is in the process of finalising the procedures with China to allow for the export of frozen lobsters.

He said that, on the investment side, the Jamaican government, in keeping with its firm commitment to reducing its debt rapidly, will not negotiate any new loan programmes with China.

He said that infrastructure projects will therefore take on the modalities of joint venture partnerships, public/private partnerships or private sector transactions which are directly agreed between Jamaican and Chinese partners.

Under the new co-operative framework, Holness added that investments will become more strategic, and will focus on the development of the special economic zones, logistic hubs, urban centre development, water and sewage and affordable housing.

Balford Henry


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