The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean is aiming to attract more Chinese investment to diversify its economic growth as top-level visits between the two countries increase bilateral ties.
“We relied on oil and gas resources heavily in the past and have now made some progress toward diversifying economic growth. Our cooperation with China will further promote the economic transformation and diversification. There is great potential for deepening cooperation in the sectors of energy, tourism, agricultural processing, financial services and creative industries,” Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar told the China-Trinidad and Tobago Business and Investment Forum on Tuesday in Beijing.
The prime minister started her official visit to China on Monday. It will be concluded on Friday. It is the first time a government head of Trinidad and Tobago has visited China in three decades. The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1974.
The prime minister will also open Trinidad and Tobago’s embassy in Beijing. It will be committed to promoting trade and investment between the two countries, according to Trinidad and Tobago’s new ambassador to China, Chandradath Singh.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the Caribbean country in June. During a meeting with leaders from the Caribbean states Xi renewed China’s pledge to support their development by stepping up initiatives from the third China-Caribbean Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, which was held in 2011.
“President Xi’s visit was very important. Amid the accelerated globalization, China can never be ignored in every country’s economic development. Trinidad and Tobago expects to further strengthen its ties with China, especially on the economic and trade frontiers,” the prime minister said, adding the country is improving governmental services to forge a better business environment.
Trinidad and Tobago is located at the heart of the Americas and serves as an important gateway to the Caribbean Community and Common Market, which has 6 million people, as well as to the Central and South American markets. The country is the English-speaking Caribbean’s largest economy and also a leading Caribbean producer of crude oil, natural gas and natural asphalt.
“We do have rich resources but we don’t have sufficient capabilities. We hope Chinese companies can help us to explore the resources,” the prime minister said. “China has rich business experience so the cooperation will be mutually beneficial.”
Vasant Bharath, Trinidad and Tobago’s minister of trade, industry and investment, said: “China has huge potential to provide a big market for products from Trinidad and Tobago as well as great potential for providing capital and technology for us.”
Bilateral trade between Trinidad and Tobago and China reached a record $627 million in 2011. Most of it was down to Chinese imports, according to Bharath…READ MORE