Jamaica Gleaner / The Jamaican government and China’s Gansu Provincial government have signed an agreement that is to pave way for the development of a $6 billion industrial park and Special Economic Zone around the JISCO/ALPART alumina refinery in Nain, St Elizabeth.
A release from the Transport and Mining Ministry last night said the investment is expected to be the first and largest to be made by the Gansu provincial government in a foreign country.
“The size of the investment for this contemplated development is of major significance for both Jamaica and China, in that it is the largest investment ever contemplated in Jamaica and it’s the first overseas investment for Gansu Province,” the release from the Mining Ministry stated.
The political, administrative and procedural preliminary activities will begin immediately so that the next phase of the development can be outlined when the parties meet in China in September.
This follows the signing of a Framework Agreement on Thursday between the Gansu Vice Governor Huang Qiang and Mining Minister Mike Henry. The event was also witnessed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness who had a hour-long discussion with Qiang prior to the signing.
Thursday’s Framework Agreement comes closely on the heal of a Non-Binding Agreement of Intent (NAI) on September 21 last year, between Henry and Governor of Gansu Province, Tang Renjian in China.
To demonstrate the Jamaican government’s commitment to the project, the Mining Ministry says Holness has assigned Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Dr Horace Chang, to expedite the development of the project.
The development of the industrial park and special economic zone in Nain is aimed at moving Jamaica from exporting raw materials to developing value added manufacturing and fabrication industries, beginning with the Bauxite/Mineral Sector.