The Jamaican government has been praised by the Chinese government for the current level of economic growth and the steady reduction in unemployment. In April 2022, Jamaica’s unemployment rate stood at 6%, down from a high of 12.6% in July 2020.

During a courtesy visit to the Minister of Labor and Social Security, Karl Samuda, last week, Chen Daojiang, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica, praised the Minister of Labor for the high level of employment in the country, noting that “almost all Jamaicans are employed”.

In response, Samuda said Jamaica’s success is due in large part to the cooperation and support that has been provided by the Chinese government, particularly in the construction and development of infrastructure, which he says has been “significantly strengthened by cooperation with the Chinese government”.

Samuda further expressed satisfaction with the level of expertise that Chinese construction and infrastructure companies have brought to Jamaica and the resulting transfer of knowledge to the Jamaican workforce.

The Ambassador said that up to 96% of the workforce engaged in some infrastructure projects at the local level are Jamaican nationals.

Samuda said he expects “the continued partnership to bear great fruit in the future.”

In a reference to an ambassador on what he called “China’s infrastructural feats”, noting that the “technology was unparalleled in the world”.

The ambassador praised the state of bilateral relations between China and Jamaica and pledged his support for uplifting the existing relationship towards establishing a strategic partnership between the two countries.

He noted that the recently constructed building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) and the North-South Highway are “new landmarks of China-Jamaican friendship,” adding that Chinese nationals are encouraged to s integrate with Jamaican workers. , thus enhancing their mutual social development.

Chen Daojiang observed that there are currently over 60,000 Chinese nationals residing in Jamaica, collectively contributing over $2 billion annually to the country’s social/economic development.

For his part, Samuda confirmed the existence of a large Chinese community in Jamaica for many decades and pointed out that current working conditions are likely to increase the proportion of Chinese descendants in Jamaica.

He assured the ambassador of the ministry’s commitment to ensuring prompt processing of work permits “for Chinese nationals whose expertise is needed on development projects in Jamaica.”

Chinese nationals make up the largest group of international workers in Jamaica, accounting for 40% of work permits approved each year.

Chen Daojiang noted that 2022 marks 50 years of bilateral relations between the peoples of Jamaica and China, and informed Samuda that his government is planning a series of activities to observe this milestone.