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.