|PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar and President Xi Jinping at the Diplomatic Centre Saturday|
She made the announcement at a joint media briefing with Xi at the Diplomatic Centre following bilateral talks between the two leaders and their respective delegations.
Persad-Bissessar also disclosed that Trinidad and Tobago would establish its first embassy in Beijing by the time she visits China later this year. She also stated that Trinidad and Tobago would consider the establishment of a Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Institute, which would be attached to the Diplomatic Mission in Beijing.
"This centre would promote Trinidad and Tobago’s creative industries through cultural exchanges, training seminars and cultural exhibitions in China. The Centre could also feature highly in Trinidad and Tobago’s public diplomacy initiatives in Asia," she said.
"During our discussions we also suggested that China and Trinidad and Tobago could co-host an annual Caribbean Music Festival in Beijing, which could become a signature event for promoting Asian/Caribbean Cultural Exchanges," Persad-Bissessar added.
She also announced that both sides signed three memoranda of understanding. One of them is for the establishment of a Confucius Language Institute at the University of the West Indies. Another is for the the acquistion of a set of linear accelerators X-Ray scanning and detection systems for the port and the third is for TT$50 for social development projects.
These are in addition to assistance for the construction of a Children's hospital in Couva and several other sporting infrastructure projects iincluding the George Bovell III Aquatic Centre, a cycling velodrome, a tennis centre, three multi-purpose sporting facilities, the South campus of the University of the West Indies, and the South Campus of the University of the West Indies.
Persad-Bissesar also announced that China will be providing financial assistance for the construction of the Arima hospital. In addition, she stated that the Chinese leader has agreed to send 100 health care professionals to Trinidad and Tobago and the CARICOM region over the next three years. President Xi promised to consider further assistance to deal with T&T's health care needs with respect to professionals.
The Prime Minister also noted that her government sees China as a key business partner as T&T actively seeks to penetrate new markets regionally and internationally, especially for energy products. In addition, she said T&T welcomes China's involvement in renewable energy research and development.
Persad-Bissessar said Trinidad and Tobago would continue to expand technical cooperation and discuss how both countries might continue to benefit from technical cooperation ventures.
She identified key areas that her government has identified for technical cooperation:
- Infrastructural Development
- Agriculture and Food Security
- Information and Communication Technology
- National Security