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Private sector encouragd to attend China trade forum

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Contact: Julita Peter

Monday, January 10, 2005 - Local entrepreneurs and potential investors are being encouraged to participate in the China/Caribbean Economic Trade Co-operation Forum in Jamaica from February 2-5, 2005.

The Ministry of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation co-ordinated a meeting last week, to share information on the upcoming forum, deemed to yield significant benefits to the Caribbean.

The influence of the People’s Republic of China on the region has increased tremendously over the years. However, while there had been ongoing relations with the People’s Republic of China at the governmental level, the relationship with the private sector has been wanting.

“Over the years we have received invitation from the people’s republic of china to participate in various investment forum in China; because of the high cost of travelling to china, the distance and its associated cost, the private sector has generally not been able to afford participation in these events, and so it was decided that perhaps what China should do is to launch a trade and investment mission in the Caribbean”, said Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation, Cosmos Richardson

The People’s Republic of China has estimated the value of trade between itself and the Caribbean to be at US$ 1 billion, with tremendous potential for growth.

Accompanying the high level Chinese delegation at the Jamaica Trade and Investment Economic Forum is a contingent of some 200 business persons. Member countries of CAICOM that have relations with the People’s Republic of China will participate in that forum, including Cuba. The forum will include a display of good and services produced in the People’s Republic of China and the Caribbean.

Meanwhile, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed during the Jamaica forum to allow more Chinese tourists into St. Lucia.


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