JIS News

The first ever China-Caribbean Trade Fair was officially opened at the national arena in Kingston yesterday (Feb. 2).
Vice Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China Ma Xiuhong, in declaring the event open extended heartfelt gratitude to the Jamaican government for its efforts to ensure the success of the affair.
Head of the Chinese delegation and Vice Minister of Commerce, An Min delivering the opening address said the China Caribbean Trade Fair was an important component of the China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum. He said the fair served to introduce the achievements made by China in building its economy, the growth of its state level economic and technical development zones, as well as bilateral relationships including economic and trade cooperation links between China, Latin America and the Caribbean region.
Mr. An Min said he believed the fair would give a better knowledge of the competitive companies and commodities China had to offer as well as the development of a market economy in China with people of all trades across the Caribbean region. He said the event presented an opportunity to seize tremendous business opportunities in what he said was a mutually beneficial cooperation, geared at complimentary exchanges and broadening economic and technical interaction, and cooperation in all fields.
Meanwhile Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, K.D. Knight, speaking at the launch, said China and the Caribbean represented two opposite ends of the international economic spectrum.
He pointed out that while Caribbean countries represent small vulnerable economies, and accounted for less than 0.1 percent of world trade, China as a global trade and economic giant accounted for 5.5 percent of global trade. This he noted amounted to US$1.15 trillion making China the third largest trading nation in the world. The Foreign Affairs Minister said despite these significant differences Jamaica and China had much in common as developing countries with a common desire to promote sustainable development and economic progress for their peoples.
Furthermore Minister Knight expressed confidence in the partnership, noting that in the past China’s leadership and support on many issues had been positive. ” We have pursued mutually beneficial linkages in the area of manufacturing and production. today’s fair linked as it is to the business forum and in particular its matchmaking exercise is expected to take this process of collaboration to another level,” he noted.
Mr. Knight said the trade fair gave entrepreneurs first hand access to Chinese production giants to forge partnerships for production in the region and create jobs, generate wealth, and open new markets. He said this would be made possible through the mutually beneficial mix of Chinese technology and investment, Caribbean location, a skilled population, special trade links and geographic proximity to key markets.
The fair brought together a delegation of over 165 Chinese entrepreneurs and 300 businesspersons from all across the Caribbean and featured some 80 booths displaying offerings by the People’s Republic of China and 10 booths by Caribbean service providers.
The Trade fair, which will run until Saturday, February 5, is the second leg of the China /Caribbean Trade forum which was held from February 2-3 at the Jamaica Conference Centre. Both the trade fair and forum are aimed at strengthening trade, economic and technical cooperation between China and the Caribbean.

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