Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says he will be seeking the Cabinet’s input regarding a request to remove Value Added Tax (VAT) from literary texts.
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Envoy: NAPA an example of China’s abilities
China will continue to make an important contribution to T&T’s economy and society, said Huang Xingyuan, China’s Ambassador to T&T. “There are many business persons from T&T looking for business opportunities in China and the newly-opened T&T Embassy in China can provide guidance on this. T&T and China share the same goals of diversification and restructuring and T&T remains an important partner of China,” he said.
Xingyuan was speaking through an interpreter yesterday at a China Business Forum at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, Mt Hope. He also said that T&T President Anthony Carmona would be paying a visit to China next month. He said the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa) is an example of the high quality work that Chinese companies have done in T&T.
“More Chinese companies will work on projects here in T&T. Also, people in T&T can buy cheap, high quality products made in China. Both countries must work together to further our co-operation,” he said. Xingyuan said while T&T was a tiny twin-island state, China, with the world’s largest population, dwarfed T&T.
“China is a vast country. How big is China? The size of T&T multiplied by 2,000 times. In terms of the population, multiply T&T’s population 1,000 times to get China’s population. We are also far apart in distance. But I must add that Chinese are as diligent as T&T nationals,” he said. He made reference to the Trinidadian saying that “God is a Trini.” “I know that this god will provide for the welfare of the people of T&T,” Xingyuan said.
Arthur Lok Jack, chairman of Associated Brands Industries who also spoke at the forum, said China today continues to contribute to T&T’s economic growth and diversification. “In T&T alone, China has made contributions in terms of technology, business innovation, flexible financing, construction, healthcare and a variety of ongoing projects, and many of these are with state organisations, and now the private sector,” he said.
Lok Jack said China was now the world’s second largest economy and gives smaller nation states like T&T an opportunity to develop along non-traditional lines with non-traditional partners.
“China has been experiencing economic growth for the past three decades since its reforms and opening up to the outside world. Today, China plays an increasing role in world politics and is now the world’s second largest economy. China has also helped countries of the global south and allows us to grow beyond the traditional trading partners,” he said.
Lok Jack called China a “vast country”, but said this may distort the true picture of its wealth distribution compared to a small country like T&T with a relatively high growth rate gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.
“Obviously, there is a disconnect between the world’s second largest economy and its GDP per capita because of its large population. I am sure if you were to disaggregate this and started to look at China as different regions or cities, you will find a GDP per capita that is much higher. So one has to be careful when one looks at the low GDP per capita of China,” he said.