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Jamaica is not a xenophobic country – Holness

Published:Tuesday | April 25, 2017 | 2:06 PM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has weighed in on current tensions between Chinese and local contractors, declaring that Jamaica is not a xenophobic country.

He was speaking this morning at a groundbreaking Ceremony for the construction of the China-Aided Early Childhood Institutions in his constituency.

There has been mounting concern about the number of Chinese companies landing big contracts in Jamaica.

On Sunday, China's Ambassador to Jamaica, NIU Qingbao, was reported as urging local contractors to stop complaining about the issue and instead work on making themselves more attractive.

However, immediate past president of the Incorporated Masterbuilders Association of Jamaica, Carvel Stewart, said the ambassador is downplaying the issue as when it comes to construction, local contractors are unable to compete with the powerful Chinese companies.

This morning, Holness noted that the school in his constituency was also being built by a Chinese company, but explained why.


In addressing the current tensions, Holness said he was concerned about certain statements being made as Jamaica and the Chinese have had a long history.


Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Another school is to be built in Morant Bay in St Thomas under the grant programme funded by China.