PM says China talks going well

By PAUL HENRY Crime/Court Desk Coordinator henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, January 09, 2012

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PRIME Minister Portia Simpson Miller was yesterday mum on the details of talks with her Government and Chinese officials on the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP) but said that the negotiations were going well.


"The meeting went very well," was all the prime minister was prepared to say during an impromptu press briefing following a service at the Portmore New Testament Church of God in Bayside, St Catherine.


Simpson Miller said that the discussions were ongoing. A team from the Simpson Miller-led administration is also expected to visit China for further discussions.


On Saturday, Simpson Miller; Minister of Transport, Works and Housing Dr Omar Davies; Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Peter Phillips; and Robert Pickersgill, the Minister of Water, Land and the Environment met with Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica Zheng Qingdian met to discuss the diverting of some the US$400-million loan to finance the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP).


During the election campaign, the People's National Party had said that it would negotiate with the Chinese Government an arrangement that would see the JEEP programme being funded with money from the JDIP loan.


Yesterday Simpson Miller seemed pleased with the speed with which her administration was able to start the negotiation process.


"We have started the discussions — not two weeks but less than two days after swearing in," she said.



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