THE governments of Jamaica and the People's Republic of China have signed two grant agreements for RMB 21 million (US$3.288 million) and a Memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Cooperation.
Another agreement for RMB 30 million (approximately US$5.617 million) was signed at the 3rd China/Caribbean Trade and Economic Forum in Trinidad last week. That amount brings the total agreements signed between the two countries in just over a week to RMB 51million (US$7.985 million).
Speaking at Monday's signing ceremony at Jamaica House, Prime Minister Golding expressed appreciation to Vice-Premier of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Hui Liangyu for his government's enormous assistance in many areas which he said are critical to national development.
Golding recalled that China has to date provided valuable assistance in a number of areas including infrastructure, housing development, water supplies, education and agriculture and only recently provided assistance to the JDF in the vital area of equipment.
In the discussions Monday with the Chinese Vice-Premier, Golding said both countries explored the possibility of expanding existing areas of technical cooperation and he specially requested a focus on agriculture and agro-processing. It is expected that further announcements will be made where these areas of cooperation can become part of the agreements between the two countries, Golding said.
In his address, Vice-Premier Hui said China was committed to promoting cooperation in various areas and that while proposals have come out of the discussions, new steps and policy measures will be looked at in the years to come. He expressed his sincere appreciation for the enormous efforts that the Government has made in promoting bilateral friendship under the leadership of Prime Minister Golding.
"The Chinese people also care about your economic and social development and China is determined to give you the necessary help in the future,"' Hui added.
Monday's signing involved Hui and Jamaica's Minister of Agriculture Robert Montague. The MOU identifies priority areas, including agricultural mechanisation, agricultural trade promotion, climate change adaptation, disaster risk management, alternative energy in agriculture and information and communications technology in agriculture.
Meantime, Vice-Minister Jiang and the Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Marlene Malahoo-Forte, signed an agreement on Economic and Technical Corporation for RMB 20 million in addition to Exchange of Letters for a Grant of RMB one million for materials from China. The type of materials will be provided at Jamaica's request and subject to agreement between the two governments.
The signing of the grants were part of the four-day official visit of Hui and a delegation of some 60 officials from the PRC.