Jamaican Prime Minister Warns Against Criticism of Chinese Investment

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - September 12, 2013

Above: PM Portia Simpson Miller

By the Caribbean Journal staff

It’s not secret that China has been ramping up its investment throughout the Caribbean region — and particularly in Jamaica.

While that’s led some to question the country’s investments and motives, Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller called for “caution” this week to anyone criticizing China’s moves.

“Before anyone criticizes they should should their level of investments in Jamaica,” she said. “So all who want to criticize, come if you want to invest and come with your money because the government does not have the money.”

Jamaica is among the most debt-ridden countries in the world, with a debt-to-GDP ratio of over 120 percent.

Simpson Miller was addressing the House of Representatives on Tuesday, giving a report on her visit China at the end of August.

She pointed to China’s recent outlays, including the agreement for the construction of two new schools, a $16 million grant for development projects and a loan of $300 million to Jamaica’s newly-renamed Major Infrastructure Development Programme.

China will also be offering 40 scholarships every year to Jamaican students, she said.

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