Prime Minister Bruce Golding has noted that because of China’s significant role in the world economy, as well as its understanding of the challenges facing the developing world, countries like Jamaica are looking to China to be their advocate in those corridors, (such as the G20), where they are not allowed to be present. “We do not sit in the G20. Our voice where we are allowed to sit, is weak and so the imbalances in the economic architecture need to be addressed’, Mr. Golding said. He was speaking yesterday (Feb 4) when he met with China’s President Hu Jintao at the Fujian Hall of the People in Beijing, as he wrapped up his official visit to China. In presenting his case, Mr. Golding said the global economic arrangements involve significant imbalances that impact negatively on developing countries. ‘It is particularly difficult for countries like Jamaica which are regarded under the UN classification as a middle income country and consequently have no access to concessionary financing available to poor countries. Yet we are heavily indebted and we have significant elements of poverty that need to be addressed’. He said because countries like Jamaica are excluded from that kind of treatment, they run the risk of seeing the gains they have worked so hard to build over many years, marginal though they may be, eroded with the effect of the global recession. The Prime Minister said countries like Jamaica which are undertaking policy reforms, need access to cheaper funds and should not be considered as high risks. He is of the view that the multilaterals need to look at countries like Jamaica not only from the point of view of their balance of payments and fiscal challenges, but to include in their assessment, a commitment to development. In his response, President Hu Jintao noted that although China sits on the G20, it has not lost sight of the fact that it is regarded as a developing country and would not hesitate to support countries like Jamaica in answering this call. He expressed the hope that the joint efforts of all concerned will serve the benefit of all developing countries. The President said he had taken note that although Jamaica was facing serious economic challenges, the Bruce Golding-led government had implemented a medium term economic programme and had put forward a number of initiatives. He expressed confidence that the Jamaican government is committed to developing the economy and improving the lives of the people of Jamaica. He also commended Jamaica on the active role it is playing in the integration of the people of the Caribbean. President Hu Jintao said he was confident that under Prime Minister Golding’s leadership, Jamaica will be able to triumph over its present economic challenges and to become successful in the future.

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Contact: Communications Unit-OPM Tel: 926-0244 Fax: 920-4684 Email: opm.news@opm.gov.jm

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