Construction work on a new building in downtown Kingston to house the offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is now complete.
Built on 11,700 square metres by the Jiangsu Jiangdu Construction Group Co. Limited, of China, the 11-storey structure consists of a two-storey annex building, a generator room, boundary wall and parking area.
The building was formally handed over to the Government at a ceremony, held today (October 16) at the new Foreign Ministry headquarters, 20 Port Royal Street, downtown Kingston.
Handover Certificates were signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith; and Ambassador of China to Jamaica, His Excellency Tian Qi. A symbolic key of ownership of the building was also handed over to the Ministry by Ambassador Tian Qi.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Tian Qi said the new building is a testimony of the good relations and friendship between Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China.
He said that he is happy to share in the excitement and “to witness the historical moments of moving into the building”.
“I share the same exciting moments with you,” he said, adding that the Embassy will support the work of the Ministry.
“Jamaica Foreign Affairs, you are into a new era and I can assure you that the Chinese Embassy and the staff here will always be with you, to work together to promote our relations to a higher level, to promote our common interests and to serve our people better,” he said.
In her remarks, Senator Johnson Smith said the new building is an important outcome of China’s commitment to support Jamaica’s economic growth and development.
“This new Foreign Ministry building represents a major symbol of the long-standing bonds of friendship and cooperation between Jamaica and China. This strategic development partnership forged in construction of this new facility, showcases the win-win nature of Jamaica-China partnership,” she added.
She said that the expanded facilities will enhance the Ministry’s operations in the pursuit of Jamaica’s international relations.
“We will certainly have a more welcoming environment in receiving our bilateral and international partners and to host meetings and consultations with both public-sector agencies and members of the private sector,” the Minister added.
Senator Johnson Smith said that staff members of the Ministry are also “excited” to be a part of the modernisation of downtown with its prospects for more innovations, growth and job creation.
“The process of redevelopment of downtown Kingston will undoubtedly be buttressed further with the relocation of the Ministry to this the very heart of the city,” she added.