CLOSER COOPERATION LIKELY BETWEEN BARBADOS AND CHINA

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Prime Minister David Thompson greets Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China’s State Council, Mr. Hui Liangyu, prior to the start of bilateral talks at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Increased Chinese investment, regional integration and climate change were some of the major issues addressed by Prime Minister David Thompson today prior to bilateral talks with the Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China’s State Council, Mr. Hui Liangyu.

The talks, which were also attended by several members of the Cabinet of Barbados and high level officials of the People’s Republic of China, took place today at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

During his introductory remarks to the talks, the Prime Minister told the Vice Premier that the Barbados Government had noted with admiration China’s strong response to the global downturn and its position of confidence in the midst of the economic gloom.

“Your Government remains committed to maintaining an open economy, boosting economic activity and deepening your bilateral relationships especially with western powers, while engaging even more actively at the multilateral level to overcome the financial crisis.

“We are honoured that China’s outreach at this critical time in world affairs has included Barbados, and we wish to assure you of the keen interest we share in promoting increased Chinese investment in our safe and stable region,” Mr. Thompson said.

He assured Mr. Hui that CARICOM had redoubled its efforts to realise the full implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME’, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); with one significant recent development being the establishment of the CARICOM Development Fund.

“The fund is being capitalised through contributions by CARICOM member states, with additional assistance to be sought through international financial institutions and donor governments.

“We are encouraged by the interest shown by the People’s Republic of China in supporting our efforts at regional integration, and we hope that this will be an additional avenue for mutual cooperation,” the Prime Minister remarked.    

Mr. Thompson expressed concern about the “ever present and increasing threat” climate change posed to the existence of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Barbados. He pointed out that this threat was all the more immediate because of the evidence and predictions of increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes and other natural phenomena, as well as the rise in sea levels. 

“Swift action by the international community to grant SIDS priority access to funds for mitigation and adaptation is a matter of the greatest importance to us, and one on which China’s support would be welcomed,” he observed.

The Prime Minister also assured the Vice Premier that the Government of Barbados was committed to building an even stronger and more active relationship of cooperation and partnership with the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

“This will be the clear mandate of the new Barbados Embassy in Beijing, which will be inaugurated in the coming months,” Mr. Thompson stated.

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