Saturday, June 1, 2013

T&T, China to sign MOUs during weekend state visit of Chinese President

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Trinidad Friday for a three-day State visit. He is accompanied by his spouse, Peng Liyuan, and a number of Government officials and media personnel. It's the first visit to Trinidad and Tobago by a Chinese president.

The welcoming party at the South terminal of Piarco International Airport was headed by President Anthony Carmona and included Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Dookeran.

President Xi inspected a Guard of Honour comprising members of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force following which the Prime Minister introduced the visiting Head of State to Chief Justice Ivor Archie, Members of Cabinet, and the Leader of the Opposition.

On Saturday morning, the Chinese first couple will pay a courtesy call on President Carmona and his wife, Reema Carmona, at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA).

One hour later, Prime the Prime Minister would welcome President Xi at the Diplomatic Centre for bilateral talks and the signing of Memoranda of Understanding covering trade and investment, energy, technical cooperation and cultural exchanges. 

During the discussions the two countries are expected to review their existing bilateral relationship and seek to deepen their friendship and cooperation. Unlike some Caribbean states, Trinidad and Tobago has been a firm supporter of the One China Policy.

Both countries are interested in strengthening China-Caribbean cooperation and China-Latin America and Caribbean cooperation. The two leaders would also seek an expansion of cooperation in international affairs, including reform of the United Nations system, reform of the international financial and trade architecture, climate change, and global security.

Persad-Bissessar will also host a luncheon for the visiting delegation at the Diplomatic Centre. Following the luncheon, Xi would visit the Parliament Building for courtesy calls on Speaker of the House of Representatives, Wade Mark, and the President of the Senate, Timothy Hamel-Smith.

One highlight of the visit will be the ceremonial laying of the corner stone for the Couva Children’s Hospital, which is being built by a Chinese construction company. In 2010 the Prime Minister pledged to build the hospital. 

In March 2012, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar turned the sod for the construction the 230-bed hospital would be located on a site near Preysal, Central Trinidad. (Click HERE to read the PM's speech at the event). 
Architect's drawing of the Couva Children's Hospital
The People's Republic of China is lending Trinidad and Tobago TT$950 million for developments works at the proposed Children's Hospital in Couva

Representatives of the two governments signed the framework agreement for the concessional loan in December last year at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Port of Spain. 

On Saturday evening President Carmona will host a State Banquet at the Hilton Hotel for the visiting Chinese delegation.

The final item on the Chinese President's agenda is a meeting on Sunday at the Hilton Hotel with CARICOM leaders whose countries have diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese delegation will leave Trinidad on Sunday afternoon.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai