High-level Chinese visit to Antigua

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer.

The Baldwin Spencer administration says three high-level Chinese delegations will this week conduct a one-week visit to the country to hold discussions with government officials and tour a number of facilities constructed with Chinese grants and loans.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China David Shoul said that the three delegations will represent the EXIM Bank of China, The Beijing Construction Engineering Group Company Limited (BCEG), and the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

The Exim Bank delegation, led by vice president Su Zhong, includes chairman of the Board of Supervisors Ding Zhongchi, executive supervisor of the Board of Supervisors Liu Yaomin and general manager of the Auditing Department Li Yingying. Also included in the delegation are the assistant general manager of the Concessional Loan Department and a member of the International Business Department.

During their visit, the Exim Bank team will hold talks with Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, Finance and Economy Minister Harold Lovell, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister John Maginley, Ambassador David Shoul and senior officials of the Antigua Public Utilities Authority, an Antigua and Barbuda government statement said.

Following the talks, which will center around a number of interests to both parties, the EXIM Bank team will visit the soon-to-be commissioned Power Plant at Crabbs.

Ambassador Should said that the BCEG team will hold meetings with Spencer during the week, with both parties expecting to finalise arrangements for the official handover of the power plant. The BCEG delegation is headed by its vice president Ma Tieshan.

Meanwhile, the CCECC delegation, which is led by its chairman Liu Zhiming and includes the vice president Zhao Zhongning, will hold meetings with Maginley and officials within his ministry and also pay a courtesy call on Spencer.

Following the talks the delegation will visit the site earmarked for the construction of a new airport terminal at Coolidge. The CCECC has been selected by the Government of the People’s Republic of China to construct the new airport terminal.

On Friday, the CCECC delegation will hold consultations with Spencer and other government officials to finalize and sign a number of agreements, including the terms of the concessional loan arrangements for the construction of the airport terminal, the statement said.

These talks are expected to facilitate the commencement of construction work on the facility by early September, it said.

The delegations leave Antigua and Barbuda on Apr. 18.

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