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Saturday, November 18 2017 @ 11:14 PM AST

China to lend Jamaica US$326 million for new highway

From Beijing, China, Jamaica's Ministry of Finance and Public Services issued the following statement dated February 16, 2017:


Finance Minister, Audley Shaw, on Wednesday, met with his Chinese counterpart Mr. Xiao Jie, at the Ministry of Finance in Beijing, China.

Minister Shaw updated Minister Xiao on the Jamaican economy and the status of Chinese investment projects in Jamaica’s infrastructure development. He briefed Minister Xiao on the increased activities since he met with the then Minister of Finance in China in 2011. Minister Shaw noted that since then Jamaica had progressed with the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Development Programme (JDIP) the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP ) of the last administration and the completion of the North-South Highway.

On Thursday, Minister Shaw signed the new US$326.0 million loan agreement with the China Ex-IM Bank for the new Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project and the extension of the tolled East-West Highway from May Pen to Williamsfield.

Minister Shaw signed for Jamaica while Mr. Liu Liange, Vice Chairman and President of the Ex-Im Bank of China signed for the Bank. At the signing ceremony, the President of the Ex-Im Bank assured Mr. Shaw of the Bank’s commitment to further supporting Jamaica in its economic development programme.

The Finance Ministers agreed on the strategic importance of Jamaica in joint ventures for the development of industrial and agro-parks to service export markets in the western hemisphere.

Minister Shaw also met the China Vice Minister of Commerce, Mr. Zhang Xiangchen and it was mutually agreed to explore the possibility of entering into a Memorandum of Understanding to put in place mechanisms for the establishment of logistics, industrial and agro parks in Jamaica.

Meetings were also held with the Chairman of the China Development Bank, Mr Hu Huaibang, on the financing of the North-South Highway and the financing of future investment projects . There were fruitful discussions with Mr Chen Chunming, head of Jiquan Iron and Steel (JISCO), on the re-opening and development of ALPART and on the several opportunities that will flow, including agricultural development opportunities for small farmers in Central Jamaica. Discussions were also held with the President of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), Mr. Tang Qiaoliang.

Mr Shaw was accompanied at the meetings by the Hon. Mike Henry, Minister of Transport and Mining, Senator Aubyn Hill, Investment Ambassador and His Excellency Antonia Hugh, Jamaica’s Ambassador to China.

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