JAMAICA’S Minister of Finance Dr Peter Phillips (seated right) signs a construction agreement on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, with Hongbao Li (seated left), board chairman/general manager of China Zhengjiang International Economic Co-operation Corp Limited, for the construction of a Chinese garden at the Hope Royal Botanical Gardens in Kingston. The signing took place at the Ministry of Finance on October 23, 2013.
The construction is estimated to cost $230 million and implementation of the project will be done through the Nature Preservation Foundation, which is responsible for the management of Hope Gardens. Ground-breaking for the project is expected to take place by the end of this year, while construction will be over a 14-month period.
Observing the signing are (from left) Liu Lei, economic and commercial counsellor at the Chinese Embassy; Chinese ambassador to Jamaica 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 advisor to the minister of finance.
The Chinese Garden 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 formalisation of diplomatic relations 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 have now been secured.
The main objectives of the gift will be to enhance the friendship between Jamaica and China, promote cultural exchange, and develop another major attraction for Jamaicans and the tourism industry.