News Americas, PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Sun. June 2, 2013: CARICOM leaders toasted Chinese President Xi Jinping today in Port-Of-Spain as he wrapped up a three-day visit to the country that included meetings with several Caribbean leaders.
Among those meeting with President Xi prior to his departure were T&T Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar; Jamaicaz PM, Portia Simpson Miller; Grenada PM Keith Mitchell and Guyana President Donald Ramotar.
President Xi called for more vigor and cooperation to boost ties between China and Caribbean nations and announced China’’s intention to expand the relationship between Trinidad and Tobago and China through trade, aid and cultural ties.
China’s trade with Latin America reached US$261 billion in 2012, a nine per cent increase over the previous year.
Trinidad and Tobago is seeking to expand its links with Beijing in energy, infrastructural development, agriculture and food security, education, sport, information and communication technology and national security.
China is offering a hand of friendship and has committed to work with Caribbean leaders. Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar noted that in toasting the Chinese leader.
“We are deeply appreciative of Your Excellency’’s commitment to work with all our countries in the Caribbean region for the sustained development of China’’s relationship with our part of the world for the benefit of all the peoples of our world,”” she said.
Trinidad and Tobago was the first stop for President Xi who is also visiting Costa Rica and Mexico during an eight-day tour of the Americas that ends in California Friday with a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.
Trinidad and Tobago will open its first embassy in Beijing this year, 39 years after establishing diplomatic relations with China.