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Chinese agreement to be signed with Caribbean Export

8/5/2009

AN agreement will be signed this morning between Caribbean Export and China, aimed at promoting and encouraging exports from this region.

Philip Williams, Executive Director of Caribbean Export, Songgen Dong, Head of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and Qiang Wei, China’s Ambassador to Barbados will be part of the delegation at the signing ceremony scheduled for the Hilton.

The signing will be part of a China-Caribbean Business Dialogue for which there is a packed agenda. It will include apart from the signing ceremony, presentations from featured speakers on key topics.

Both sides (China and the Caribbean) will be exploring the possibilities for closer trade ties. Topics relating these issues as well as those China’s investment to the Caribbean, tourism and enhancing relations between the Asian country and CARIFORUM states, will be discussed at length.

Heading the list of presenters will be Dr. David Estwick, Barbados’ Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce.

Dr. Estwick will be giving the feature address.

The topic, promoting growth amid the global financial crisis, will be presented by Dr. Denny Lewis-Bynoe, Director of Economics Department, Caribbean Development Bank, and Xu Yingxin, Vice Chairman, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Robert Gregory, Chairman of the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC) and Russ Jones, Partner Tax, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Barbados, will share spotlight on the subject relating to how this region can benefit from more Chinese investment.
Vincent Philbert, Head of the OECS Export Development Unit, Mrs. Sue Springer, Executive Vice President, Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, and Xu Shan, Vice Chairman, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, will together be looking at partnerships to facilitate trade and promote tourism. Desmond Brunton, Vice President, Operations, CDB, will moderate an open discussion on enhancing relations between China and CARIFORUM.

Two years ago China had announced plans to offer Bds$1 billion in low-interest loans to Chinese firms in three years to encourage more investment in Caribbean regions.

In addition, it said it will help Caribbean countries to train 2 000 government officials and various technical professionals during the period. These plans were revealed by the Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi said at the then Second China-Caribbean trade and economic co-operation forum held in Xiamen, a coastal city in east China’s Fujian Province.

She pledged that China will broaden technical exchanges and deepen co-operation in agriculture and fishery, and implement tourism agreements to encourage more Chinese citizens to visit Caribbean countries.

“China is ready to deepen the economic and trade co-operation with Caribbean countries as it attaches great importance to their friendship and co-operation,” she stressed.

Enhancing co-operation is a natural requirement of economic development of both sides, who are devoted to improving national economies and people’s living standards amid challenges brought about by globalization, according to Li Changjiang, chairman of the forum, held on the sidelines of the 11th China International Fair for Investment and Trade.

China and Caribbean countries, both developing nations, can learn from each other through co-operation, said Lolita Applewhaite, Deputy Secretary-General of Caribbean Community, at the time.
“We hope to attract more investment from China, whose economy is growing rapidly, which will be a win-win choice,” she said then. (JB)

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