As a result of bilateral discussions in Port-of-Spain on Sunday between Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Grenada will receive nearly EC$20 Million (US$ 8.7 Million) in grant assistance.
President Xi Jinping was on a two day visit to Trinidad and Tobago, before leaving for Costa Rica late Sunday. While in Trinidad he met with a number of Caribbean Leaders in a series of bilateral meetings. The grant assistance to Grenada which will be used for any purpose by Grenada, is part of a multi-million dollar package of assistance that Beijing has offered to the Caribbean Region.
Prime Minister Mitchell, heading a four-man delegation including Foreign Affairs Minister Nickolas Steele, made an impassioned plea for more grant assistance from Beijing for the next three years, as the Grenada Government seeks to stabilize the fiscal crisis it inherited.
Prime Minister Mitchell asked Beijing for $10 million US dollars for each of the next three years for direct budgetary support. “I add again that the cash support, this year, next year and the following year is crucial, because of the situation in which we have found ourselves,” Prime Minister Mitchell told President Xi in wrapping up his presentation. Grenada has also presented a list of projects for consideration over the next five years — a plethora of things ranging from Housing, to Sports, Agriculture, Infrastructural projects, and Education.
In a session lasting nearly 45 minutes, Prime Minister Mitchell made a special plea for education assistance particularly in technological areas: “We recognize that while we are smaller than many other countries, our people want to compete in the same way as other people in the global society. To do this, we must educate them and empower them with knowledge.”
He also pushed to have Chinese assistance in building the additional 500 unit of houses that the previous government had given up in seeking to have the Athletic Stadium rebuilt.