China-Caribbean Trade Fair a Success


Chairman of the Planning Committee for the China-Caribbean Trade Fair, Robert Stephens, has said that the staging of the event was a success, with a number of deals struck between Jamaica and China, aimed at project development and to foster further dialogue and cooperation.
Included among the agreements were two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) – one between the Transport and Works Ministry and the China National Machinery and Equipment group for the revitalization of Jamaica’s railway system; and the other for the development of a stadium at Greenfield in Trelawny, and a bauxite aluminum plant, which is expected to produce over 1 million tonnes yearly.
The Port Authority of Jamaica and China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), the second largest shipping company in the world, also agreed, to study the development of a new transshipment port and distribution logistics hub facility in the island. In addition, the Port Authority and ZIM shipping services are in discussions concerning the development of a logistics distribution hub in Jamaica.
Mr. Stephens, who is also a Senior Vice President of the Port Authority, said that the staging of the trade fair was born out of the recognition of China’s role in world trade and Jamaica’s growing relationship with the Republic, as the country was now the major English-speaking trader with China in the Caribbean.
In 2002, Jamaica exported US$49 million worth of products, mainly bauxite and alumina, to China and imported about US$66 million of goods from that country.
China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with average annual growth of 9 per cent over the last 25 years.
Shi Dongli, representative of the Investment Promotion Agency of China’s Ministry of Commerce, which was the counterpart organizer of the trade fair, said the event presented a golden opportunity for Chinese companies and Caribbean counterparts to have face-to-face dialogue.
She expressed the hope that the staging of the event, would serve to strengthen trade and investment between China and the Caribbean countries including Jamaica. Ms. Dongli also expressed gratitude to the Jamaican and Chinese governments as well as the sponsors and exhibitors.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of Markets at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation, Michael McMorris noted that the staging of the trade fair augured well for the future of China-Caribbean relations.
He said that the trade fair pointed to areas for further cooperation in electronics, the establishment of a logistics hub and in utilizing the country’s intellectual resources. Mr. McMorris said that over time, it was possible that China would source services such as assembly, distribution, logistics and technology services from the Caribbean.
Both the trade fair and forum were aimed at strengthening trade, economic and technical cooperation between China and the Caribbean.
The fair, which opened last Wednesday (Feb. 2.), brought together a delegation of over 165 Chinese entrepreneurs and 300 businesspersons from across the Caribbean and featured some 80 booths displaying offerings by the People’s Republic of China and 10 booths of Caribbean service providers. There were some 15,000-business visitors over the four days.

JIS Social