Finance Minister welcomes Chinese delegation to Grenada

Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Nazim Burke, on Wednesday welcomed Mr. Chen Changzhi, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and a twenty member delegation to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Mr. Burke thanked the delegation for China’s assistance and support, “at a time of global economic recession and a challenging environment”.

“China has been and continues to be a partner in Grenada’s development. We have enjoyed excellent relations and we look forward to further strengthening and deepening those relations,” acting Prime Minister Burke told Mr. Changzhi earlier today.

He told the delegation that a “firm foundation for a strong and lasting relationship” has already been laid, adding that Grenada as a small country compared with the PRC, “still face the challenges of building our country”.

Burke who is acting Prime Minister as PM Thomas is in St. Lucia  attending the 33rd CARICOM Summit, updated Mr. Chen on areas of cooperation between the two countries adding that looked forward to the visit next month of the Chairman of China’s Exim Bank.

Grenada recently had a US Court order set in place by EXIM Bank, barring the country from receiving in excess of EC$7-million dollars in tourism revenue, lifted.

Negotiations between the island’s Finance Ministry and the bank are said to be continuing as EXIM Bank tries to collect over EC$67 million dollars in loans, dating as far back as 1997, when Grenada had diplomatic ties with China’s rival Taiwan.

On Wednesday, Head of the visiting Chinese delegation Mr. Chen described Grenada-China relations as “very strong”, and expressed his appreciation for this country’s commitment to the “One China Policy.” He said China is committed to continue supporting the development of Grenada and to expand cooperation.

The Chinese official who conveyed “cordial greetings” to Prime Minister Tillman Thomas from the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, said he looks forward to Grenada playing a “more positive role in developing the China-CARICOM relationship”.©

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