by Linda Straker
- Belt and Road Initiative discussed during 2-day China Caribbean Conference
- 9 countries attended
Infrastructure, tourism and financial cooperation with China through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) were the areas of discussion during a 2-day China—Caribbean Conference which concludes in Grenada today Tuesday, 29 October 2019.
Attended by government representatives from some countries who have already signed on to the ideals of the initiative, there was also representation from St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Lucia who at present have diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Mainland China considers Taiwan a renegade province of China. Over the years, Taiwan’s diplomatic ties have dwindled.
“We are gathered here in St George’s for the next two days to examine, explore and understand the belt and road initiative as put forward by the Government of the People’s Republic of China. We are here to understand exactly how we can benefit from the concessional financing made available through the Belt and Road Initiative for the benefit of our peoples,” said Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter David who is also the co-chair of the conference.
“As we strive to achieve these goals for the growth of our individual economies and to increase the standard of living of our people, it is inevitable that we engage external partners, be it bilateral or multilateral in the process of sustainable development. We just cannot do it alone,” he said, delivering remarks during the opening ceremony.
David explained that the Belt and Road Initiative presents the region with a range of concessional financing with reasonable terms and conditions, and told the participants which comprised ministers of government and officials from the Ministry of Finance that they “must negotiate what is feasible and affordable for our economies.”
David said the Belt and Road Initiative can provide an avenue to facilitate financing for the development of the region. “It is meant to strengthen practical cooperation in many fields. It is meant to enhance policy coordination and deepen mutual benefits with a view to realising joint development and common prosperity for all,” said the Foreign Affairs minister.
“It is meant to enhance political relations, economic ties, security cooperation and people to people exchanges, whilst promoting people to people connectivity, establishing an economic framework cooperation which is open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all, so as to maintain regional peace, security and sustainable development,” David said.
The opening ceremony was also addressed by Su Wei, Vice Secretary of the National Development and Reform Commission who is heading the Chinese delegation at the conference.
Countries attending were Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, The Bahamas, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.