Jamaica inaugurates BRI infrastructure project

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Jamaica has advanced in the construction of projects under the Belt and Road initiative, and recently inaugurated the Jamaica South Coastal Road Reconstruction and Upgrade Project, a project financed by the Export-Import Bank of China and built by the China Port Engineering Company.

This is the first project implemented by a Chinese company since the signing of the Belt and Road agreement between the two countries in 2019, which involves the upgrading and renovation of Jamaica’s South Coastal road. The project connects the capital, Kingston, with Mandeville, Bulls Bay and other towns.

Once completed, it is expected to improve the traffic capacity of Jamaica’s southeast and coastal regions, as it is an important channel for the economic development of Jamaica’s east and west coasts.

This project to improve Jamaica’s transportation network has employed close to five thousand people for its development and construction. It is not, however, the first cooperation project between the two countries, which have had more than 50 years of diplomatic relations.

This project, which has been in development since 2017 鈥 with construction due to begin in 2018 鈥 is part of a macro-project that seeks to rehabilitate 110km of the route on the stretch from Harbour View in Kingston to Port Antonio in Portland. It includes realigning the road and widening it to four lanes, according to BNAmerica.

Jamaica has become a hub for China’s port and road investments. Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s prime minister, said the project was not just about a road, but more about Jamaica achieving economic and political independence.