JIS News

Eleven Caribbean countries and three organizations have already confirmed their participation in the China/Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum and Trade Fair to be held in Kingston from February 2 -5.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, K.D Knight, who made the announcement at his Dominica Drive office yesterday (Jan.27), said that Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas and Dominica would be represented at the level of heads of government, vice presidents would lead the delegations of Suriname and Cuba, while Bermuda’s vice premier will head up that country’s delegation. Other countries will be represented at the ministerial level.
Minister Knight said that the strong CARICOM contingent for the event, “demonstrates the importance the Caribbean attaches to deepening relations with China.”
As China’s largest trading partner in the region, Minister Knight noted that it was only fitting that the inaugural staging of the event should be held in Jamaica. In highlighting the benefits of the Trade Forum and Fair, Minister Knight said, “the purpose is to strengthen trade and economic and technical cooperation between China and the Caribbean region. This activity is seen as providing an excellent opportunity for the countries in the region to attract greater Chinese investments.”
The forum, he reported, would be divided into two parts to facilitate government to government exchange and a business partnership. The inter governmental exchange, the Minister explained, would address issues relating to trade and investments, human resource development, agriculture, fisheries and science and technology, finance as well as tourism and transportation.
The business conference, on the other hand, will concentrate on facilitating commerce between China and the Caribbean. “Many positive benefits can be accrued from this event”, the Minister declared, “the least not being the establishment of the transshipment and manufacturing hub for Chinese goods. Jamaican businesspersons have a chance to have face to face dialogue with senior level executives from China and the region.” In addition, he pointed out, there was the opportunity to establish and develop business links, which could serve to enhance the manufacturing and service sectors.
Minister Knight said that the anticipated excellent result of the Trade Forum and Fair, “will of course serve to enhance Jamaica’s relation with China and will undoubtedly serve to strengthen our reputation as a leader in the Caribbean and boost the level of technical and economic cooperation provided by the Chinese.”
In his remarks, China’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Zhao Zhenyu, said that the government attached great importance to the development of relations between China and Caribbean countries and was committed to strengthening China-Caribbean economic and trade ties on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.
“In order to further promote the cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, tourism, finance, transportation, agriculture and so on, the Chinese government has joined hands with the government of Jamaica in the promotion and setting up the mechanism of China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation,” the Ambassador stated.

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