Wednesday, February 26, 2014

China promises Long Range vessel for Coast Guard

PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar is welcomed to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
China on Tuesday promised Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar that it will deliver a Long Range Vessel (LRV) to the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard in the shortest possible time.  

"This is really good news," Persad-Bissessar said. She added that she convinced Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, that the T&T Coast Guard needs two vessels to lock down the country's borders in light of the increase in arms and narco trafficking. 
Ministers Winston Dookeran, Vasant Bharath and Kevin Ramnaring welcomed to the Great Hall
Persad-Bissessar led a T&T delegation to bilateral talks with the Chinese Premier and top officials of the Chinese Government at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Tuesday. The T&T delegation also included Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Dookeran, Minister of Trade and Industry, Vasant Bharath, and Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs, Kevin Ramnarine.

Persad-Bissessar took to the table in Beijing a list of proposals, hoping to convince her Chinese counterpart to assist. "We are here today to further the partnership we started 40 years ago. I am hoping that you could use your good office to drive these projects," the Prime Minister stated. 
PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar with members of the T&T delegation at the Great Hall
The Prime Minister said she is aware that China is building two LRVs and asked Li Keqiang to sell one "in the shortest possible time." She also sought assistance from the Chinese in the establishment of a National Operations Centre (NOC), saying that a Chinese company is already interested in such a project. 

Persad-Bissessar said a team from the T&T Coast Guard recently visited China and proposed that T&T acquire one LRV "right away." She told the Chinese Premier, "National Security remains the number one priority of my Government right now."

Both the Governments of China and Trinidad and Tobago will sit down and deal with the financing aspect of the purchase.

In her discussions, Mrs Persad-Bissessar also sought assistance with the following:

  1. Construction and design of six new Economic Zones in Trinidad and Tobago
  2. Development of a trans-shipment Port and Dry Dock in South Trinidad
  3. Early processing of a loan agreement with the China Exim Bank so these projects can be expedited
  4. Construction of two new hospitals.
  5. Removal of asphalt from the Pitch Lake in greater capacities
The Prime Minister thanked the Chinese for the scanner for the Port, and said her Government is interested in purchasing more.

She said Trinidad and Tobago is strategically located to become the gateway of the Americas. This aroused the attention of the Chinese Premier who said it is something that his Government would explore.

During the welcome ceremony, the Chinese Military Band played the T&T National Anthem.

During the banquet hosted by the Chinese Premier, the Military Band played "Portrait of Trinidad and Tobago" causing PM Persad-Bissessar to personally leave her table and speak to members of the band.

Four agreements were signed Tuesday in the areas of health, sport, energy and civil aviation.


  • 11 am - Visit to the Forbidden City, Beijing
  • 12 noon - Opening of the T&T Embassy in Beijing
  • 2.30 pm - Visit to the China Agricultural University
  • 6 pm - Attend at banquet hosted by the President of China, His Excellency Xi Jingping
  • 10 pm - Departs for Shanghai
Francis Joseph | Press Secretary to the Prime Minister
Beijing, China. Photos courtesy Office of the PM.

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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