JG - Chinese Gov't to finance MoBay convention centre
Chinese Gov't to finance MoBay convention centre
published: Wednesday November 16, 2005
Janet Silvera, Gleaner Writer
NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN the Jamaican and Chinese governments are far advanced to finance the long-awaited convention centre in Montego Bay, after the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) failed to secure funding from the Mexican bank, BANCOMEX.
Prime Minister P.J. Patterson made the announcement at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Palmyra Resort and Spa in Rose Hall last week.
The Complant Group, which is currently building the Greenfield stadium in Trelawny, is slated to build the 75,000 square-foot centre on 35 acres of land near the Rose Hall Great House.
In January, at the Caribbean Marketplace Conference at Half Moon Montego Bay, the Prime Minister announced that the Mexicans, through the San José Accord, had given their word to finance the centre. Construction of the building was estimated at US$42 million (J$2,604 billion).
The new developers, Complant Group, have contracted and completed more than 1,400 civil engineering projects in over 100 countries in the fields of building, construction, railways, highways, civil aviation, petroleum, chemicals and metallurgy.
The Gleaner has learnt that in recent months, meetings have been taking place with Complant, which has sought financing for the project, which will be managed by the Export-Import Bank.
Efforts to build the centre set to complement the development in Rose Hall, which is rapidly becoming Jamaica's first integrated resort area, have been both an inspiration and a sore point for the Government for the last six to eight years. Each attempt to get the project off the ground has been met with financial difficulties.
Although having experienced periods of anxiety and disappointment in the past as a result of the promises not coming to fruition, a number of Montegonians welcome the new developments.
"We have been asking for this for so many years and we were disappointed when the Mexicans withdrew the financing, but we appreciate the Prime Minister's perseverance and negotiating skill in securing this vital piece of infrastructure to Montego Bay," said Mark Kerr-Jarrett, president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Commending the Chinese for their commitment to Jamaica, he said, "The Chinese have come through with the Greenfield site and I believe they will follow through with this latest project.
The convention centre will now give us the ability to go after the meetings and conventions market, which will add a new dimension to our tourism inventory," added the Chamber president.
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