Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
With hopes of wooing Chinese investment to the country, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has left for China where she will be meeting with high-ranking public- and private-sector interests during a five-day official visit.
Simpson Miller, who departed the island yesterday, will be in China from August 21 to 25.
She has been accompanied by A.J. Nicholson, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, and Robert Pickersgill, minister of water, land, environment and climate change.
Dr Carlton Davis, special envoy and Simpson Miller's chief adviser, has also made the trip.
Jamaica House has also reported that a small business delegation has accompanied the prime minister to explore trade and investment opportunities with officials and business interests in China.
While in China, Simpson Miller will meet with the president and the premier of the People's Republic of China.
Jamaica and China will also reaffirm bilateral relations, including celebrating the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries, established in November 1972.
"An objective of this official visit to China is to further strengthen the forms of south-south cooperation as part of a broader development agenda between China and Jamaica.
"It is of significance that China has been playing an important role in Jamaica's economic development," said Jamaica House.
Simpson Miller has been encouraging the Chinese to make greater investments in Jamaica, with the assistance of the China Development Bank and the China Ex-Im Bank.
She has also encouraged Chinese investment in water, energy and road infrastructure projects and the Logistics Hub.
Chinese investment has been a major spoke in the country's economy in recent years.
China Harbour Construction Company, which is implementing the US$400-million Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme, has already commenced work on the Mount Rosser leg of Highway 2000.