(Jamaica Observer) KINGSTON, Jamaica — The governments of Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China yesterday morning pledged to continue building on the strategic partnership between both countries.
The renewed commitment comes as the State Councillor and Director of the Central Foreign Affairs Office in China, Dr Yang Jiechi met with Prime Minister Andrew Holness and members of the Cabinet for a one-day official visit to the island.
Holness said that the relationship between both countries is evolving.
“We will continue to ensure that the projects undertaken between our countries are aligned, not just for our development but for the development of China as well so that the development is mutual,” stated Holness.
The prime minister added that Jamaica has benefitted from infrastructural development as well as investment in capacity building from the People’s Republic of China.
During the exchange, both parties reaffirmed their commitment to the Framework Cooperation Agreement for production capacity, which Holness said is a very important opportunity for Jamaica.
“We see this as the basis on which Jamaica could expand significantly its manufacturing sector through the production capacity sharing possibilities that come as a result of the framework agreement and we will be pursuing this in a deliberate way. We expect that trade between both countries will increase,” emphasised Holness.
The prime minister highlighted that there has been significant trade inbound from China and he expects an increase in significant trade outbound to China especially in agriculture and bauxite.
“It is important that development is done through investment flows and not merely loans,” Holness also noted, adding that the Government of Jamaica will provide the fiscal space where investments and development can flourish.
“We want our relationship with China to be a model for the rest of the Caribbean,” Holness asserted, adding that Jamaica has provided 10 scholarships for Chinese nationals to study at the premiere Caribbean Maritime Institute.
In the meantime, Yang said Jamaica and China are key development partners.
He added that there has been much progress in the bilateral relationship over the last 45 years and there are opportunities for further growth particularly in sports, culture, business, education, science and other areas.
Yang said China welcomed efforts to foster wider marketing and promotion of Jamaican products particularly Blue Mountain coffee to China.
The state councillor of China arrived on the island yesterday morning to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries. He was accompanied by a 12 member delegation.