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Jamaica: ‘CHINA EFFECT’ HITS LOCAL CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

Leading Jamaican architect Evan Williams is bemoaning the demise of the Jamaican construction and architectural industry as a result of major projects being awarded to Chinese firms.

Williams recently oversaw the construction and design of the extended-stay 48-room business hotel, the R, on Renfrew Road in Kingston, which came in at a cost of US$6.5 million. The R is now open for business with a grand opening ceremony pencilled in for mid-March.

Williams, who heads the architectural firm Design Collaborative, argued that Jamaica has given its construction industry over to the Chinese with local tradesmen and craftsmen left out in the cold.

“The Jamaican construction industry is coming under tremendous pressure with many of our building professionals having to leave the country. On this project, which took two and a half years to complete, many of the Jamaican professionals left. Why? Because we have given our construction industry to the Chinese,” Williams told the Jamaica Observer.

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