September 29, 2023

Jamaica to review China deal

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Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has held initial talks with China’s Ambassador to Jamaica on adjusting the structure and implementation of the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP) funded by the Asian country.

The discussion with Ambassador Zhen Qingdian took place on Saturday, two days after Simpson Miller was sworn in as the new head of government.

The Prime Minister was accompanied to the meeting by Dr. Omar Davies, Minister of Transport, Works & Housing, Dr. Peter Phillips, Minister of Finance & Planning and Mr. Robert Pickersgill, Minister of Water, Land & the Environment.

A government statement said the ambassador committed to act immediately to present the administration’s desires during his forthcoming visit to China.

The infrastructural programme is funded through a US$400 million (J$36 billion) loan from China’s Export Import (EXIM) Bank.

Last November, ex-Prime Minister Andrew Holness took control of the initiative after serious management shortcomings, such as lack of transparency and inadequate capital project planning, were identified in a report by the Auditor General.

Holness said JDIP would be reviewed to improve its accounting, reporting and general management structures.

The controversy led to the resignations of Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry and Patrick Wong, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Works Agency, which had programme oversight.



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