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China donates $230m to build Chinese Garden

Published:Monday | November 11, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Peter Phillips (right) signs the Construction Agreement with Hongbao Li (left), board chairman/general manager of China Zhengjiang International Economic Cooperation Corp Limited. Observing the signing (from left) are Liu Lei, economic and commercial counsellor at the Chinese Embassy; newly installed Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Jamaica, His Excellency Dong Xiaojun; Leslie Chung, chairman of the Nature Preservation Foundation; Darlene Morrison, deputy financial secretary; Custos of St. Andrew, Marigold Harding (partially hidden); and Helen McIntosh, technical adviser to the minister of finance.

The Chinese government has donated $230 million to Jamaica for the construction of a Chinese Garden within the Hope Royal Botanic Gardens, Kingston.

On October 23, Jamaica's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Peter Phillips signed the Construction Agreement on behalf of the Government of Jamaica with Hongbao Li, board chairman/general manager of the Chinese construction contractor China Zhengjiang International Economic Cooperation Corp Limited.

The construction and implementation of the project will be done through the Nature Preservation Foundation, which is responsible for the management of Hope Gardens.

14-month construction

Groundbreaking for the project is expected to take place by the end of this year, while construction will take place over a 14-month period.

The People's Republic of China donated a Chinese Garden to the Government and people of Jamaica, which was originally intended to be handed over on the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's Independence in August 2012 and to also mark the 40th anniversary of the formalisation of diplomatic relationships between the two countries. However, implementation was delayed due to the process of securing formal approval for the project from all local regulatory agencies, which has now been secured.

The main objectives of the gift of the Chinese Garden - as acknowledged by the Jamaican Government - will be to enhance the friendship between Jamaica and China and promote cultural exchange, while developing another major attraction for Jamaicans and the tourist industry.