A highway built and funded by a Chinese company opened in Jamaica Wednesday, as local officials praised the project as a feat that paved the way for a prosperous future.
The newly completed Jamaican North-South Highway links the capital city of Kingston in the South with the tourist city of Ocho Rios in the North, halving the travel time between the two cities.
The four-lane 67.2-km-long expressway, which cost 721 million U.S. dollars, was financed, constructed and will be operated by China Communications Construction Company.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said at the opening ceremony that the Chinese-led project blazed through the magnificent Blue Mountain, which gave the renowned coffee blend its name, to fulfill a decades-long dream of the Jamaican people.
"We must treat this roadway as a runway for other investment projects to take off and secure a brighter, more prosperous future for Jamaica," he said, adding his country looks forward to further cooperation with Chinese corporations.
For his part, Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica Niu Qingbao said the friendly partnership between the two countries "will have a smooth rise like what the motorists will have on the highway."