China promises more aid to Caribbean

China’s Vice-Premier Wang Qishan has unveiled a several measures including a $1 billion loan to regional governments, aimed at deepening cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Caribbean.

Speaking with the aid of an interpreter during the opening ceremony of the Third China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain recently, Vice Premier Qishan outlined six steps which his country will take to consolidate its already considerable influence in the region.

He promised $1 billion loan to Caribbean countries to support local economic development; $1 million donation to the CARICOM Development Fund; measures to increase Caribbean exports to China; support for building of seismic and tsunami warning systems as well as 2,500 training opportunities; training for doctors and nurses; measures to increase tourism flow between the regions; the provision of resources to boost agriculture and fisheries and support for the development of alternative, small-scale energy projects such as solar power.

The vice-premier told the delegates, which included local ministers and business officials, 13 Chinese ministers and 80 high-level Chinese business officials that enhancing cooperation in various fields between China and the Caribbean will go a long way in promoting economic development in the respective countries and ensuring world economic recovery.

“We will, always, support Caribbean countries in promoting economic development, improving people’s livelihood, advancing regional integration and playing an active role in international affairs,” he said.

“The China Development Bank will set aside US$1 billion to be used as special commercial loans for infrastructural development,” he said. Adding, “China wants to discuss and sign an investment protection agreement with the Caribbean countries to promote two-way investment.”

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