The Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, leaves tomorrow (Thursday) for an Official Visit to the People’s Republic of China.
The Prime Minister leads a delegation which will also comprise the Hon Winston Dookeran, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon Vasant Barath, Minister of Trade, Industry and Investments, and the Hon Kevin Ramnarine, Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs.
Over the last few years, Trinidad and Tobago’s regional leadership in trade has been tremendously strengthened. In particular, the relationship with the People’s Republic of China has proved to be very mutually beneficial for our citizens, and our respective economies.
This country was privileged to have hosted the first visit of a Chinese President to the English-speaking Caribbean. This took place over the period May 31 to June 01, 2013. During that visit, there was the start of construction of the Children’s Hospital in Couva. During the Prime Minister’s visit to Shanghai, she will be visiting a Children’s Hospital.
The Official Visit to China, which will take place during the period of February 23-28, 2014, will be the first time in almost 30 years that the Head of Government of Trinidad and Tobago has journeyed to a country with which Trinidad and Tobago share a vibrant and continuously expanding trade relationship.
The Prime Minister’s visit comes at a time when there is a wave of new leadership in China. This new leadership is supported by a fresh vision for growth and sustainable development, looking outward to the global stage, finding and offering new opportunities to build an economy that is already set to convincingly re-define itself, in terms of trade and investment, culture, education, energy and sport, just to name a few.
Her visit also coincides with the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In 1974, Trinidad and Tobago was a leading supporter of the “One China Policy” as articulated by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
During the Prime Minister’s visit, she will officially open the Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in China. That is carded for Wednesday, February 26th.
There are several items on the bilateral agenda. Not only will the Prime Minister have the opportunity to engage in one-on-one discussions with her Chinese counterpart, but she will also review the Bilateral Relationship between Trinidad and Tobago and China, which has been placed high on the agenda.
A number of other proposals for deepening the bilateral relationship between the two countries will be introduced for further deliberation and these are related to:
· Trade and Economic Cooperation
· Energy Cooperation
· Infrastructural Development
· Cooperation in Security
· Technical and Cultural Cooperation
During the visit, InvesTT will have the opportunity to participate in interactive sessions with leading trade and investment officials, and in so doing be able to analyze and consider, on the ground, not only what opportunities exist, but how they can be taken forward to clear the path for increased bilateral relations.
The following agreements mentioned are proposed to be signed following the bilateral discussions between the Chinese Premier and the Honourable Prime Minister:
· The Memorandum of Understanding between the General Administration of Sport of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Sport of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for Cooperation in the Field of Sport;
· The Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the People’s Republic of China concerning Cooperation in Energy and Energy-Related Matters;
· The Bilateral Air Services Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Government of the People’s Republic of China;
· The Protocol between the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Government of the People’s Republic of China concerning the posting of a Chinese Medical Team to work in Trinidad and Tobago.
Office of the Prime Minister