PM's opening remarks at bilateral discussions with the President of China
June 1, 2013: Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar, today held bilateral discussions with H.E. Xi Jinping at the Diplomatic centre, St. Anns.
The following are her opening remarks:
Your Excellency Xi Jinping and your distinguished delegation... on behalf of the people and Government of Trinidad and Tobago, I am honoured to welcome you to our twin island Republic.
We are indeed humbled by your decision to visit Trinidad and Tobago, as this marks the first State Visit by a Chinese President to the English-Speaking Caribbean.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries in 1974, our relationship has grown stronger and it is my respectful view that our discussions this morning will deepen the bonds of friendship and co-operation which already exist between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
We gratefully recognise and thank the People’s Republic of China for the economic and technical support you give to our country.
Many nationals of Trinidad and Tobago have benefited from training programmes and degree-level courses administered in China in a wide variety of fields, including governance, diplomacy, agriculture and environmental management.
With your assistance there are several infrastructural projects due to come on stream...the George Bovell III Aquatic Centre, a cycling velodrome, a tennis centre, and three multi-purpose sporting facilities, as well as for the South campus of the University of the West Indies and Children‘s Hospital Project in Couva, where a site visit will be conducted later today.
Similar to your country, we too are pursuing policies designed for the peaceful and prosperous development of our country.
In 2011, Trinidad and Tobago proudly co-hosted the 3rd China-Caribbean Trade and Economic Forum, the highest level of economic and trade dialogue between China and the Caribbean region. His Excellency, Vice Premier Wang Qishan attended the Forum and I believe I speak on behalf of many leaders in the Region when I say that we were quite pleased by China’s commitment to further deepen China-Caribbean cooperation in areas such as finance and investment, capacity building, environmental protection, new energy, culture, education, health, trade, tourism, and agriculture and fisheries.
Your Excellency, our talks this morning will touch on some of these areas, which my Government believes are important to our future engagement with the People’s Republic of China.