Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says T&T is to receive a 40 million Yuan (US$6.26m) grant from the Chinese Government. She revealed this following bilateral discussions with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Quishan at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann's yesterday. He is in T&T for the annual China-Caricom Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum. Persad-Bissessar did not say what the money would be used for. Other Government sources said it was still to be determined what projects the money would be used for but insisted that it would be for mutually agreed initiatives.
She said the visit of the high-level Chinese delegation was a recognition of value placed by China on trade with Caricom member states. Among Caricom leaders present for the luncheon were Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo, Antigua/Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Grenada Prime Minister Tillman Thomas. She said China offers Caricom states an ideal opportunity to market themselves as an ideal destination for leisure and business. She said T&T welcomed the opportunity to cooperate with China in the areas of science and technology in fields such as bio-sciences, agriculture and food technology.
She also said that there was to be expected collaboration between T&T's tertiary level institutions and Chinese universities. She said T&T would establish an embassy in Beijing, China. Noting that some T&T products already had access in the Chinese markets, Persad-Bissessar said "We welcome a greater penetration of a wider variety of our goods and services into the Chinese market." Wang was high in praise for the success of the on-going forum. He said it would augur well for both China and the Caricom nations.