This Caribbean PM Is Front And Center At China’s International Import Expo

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C), French President Emmanuel Macron (3rd R) and Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness (R) attend the opening ceremony of the 2nd China International Import Expo (CIIE) at the National Exhibition and Convention Center on November 5, 2019 in Shanghai, China.(Photo by Du Yang/Chnia News Service/VCG via Getty Images)
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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, THURS. Nov. 7, 2019: A top Caribbean prime minister was front and center at the China International Import Expo (CIIE), which opened in Shanghai, China on Nov. 5th.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness was the lone regional leader present at the opening of the 2nd China International Import Expo (CIIE) at the National Exhibition and Convention Center and was seen alongside China’s President Xi Jinping and  French President Emmanuel Macron.

Jamaica was invited to participate as a “Guest Country of Honor.” At the expo’s opening ceremony in Shanghai on Tuesday, Holness praised Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visionary leadership and foresight to hold such an event even as Chinese Communist Party leaders said they would bring in “national security” legal measures to quell unrest in the territory of Hong Kong.

“The CIIE reflects an inclusive vision for facilitating imports from partner countries,” he said. “It is also a clear demonstration of China’s commitment to strengthen cooperation in global trade and investment and to ensure that all countries and peoples have an opportunity to share in global prosperity. Jamaica very much welcomes this special opportunity to join countries around the world in showcasing our products and services.”

PM Holness also stressed the importance of multilateralism and said the world should take advantage of international trade and cooperation in face of rising global challenges. The prime minister said his country has much to share with China on economic vision.

“We share your aspirations for a more open, inclusive, balanced, and win-win economic globalization for the common development and prosperity of all countries,” he said, adding that Jamaica firmly supports multilateralism and is willing to play a positive role in promoting the relations between countries in the Caribbean region and China.

As the expo opens Chinese market to Jamaican companies, Jamaica looks forward to more exchanges with China that is a leader in innovation and technology, Holness added.

“The second China International Import Exposition will open new doors for increased partnerships in international trade and investment. We are deeply appreciative of this gesture of openness and inclusiveness. We live in an interdependent world, and together we must chart a shared future for mankind,” he said.

China said it is willing to work with Jamaica to advance the relations between China and Caribbean countries, jointly uphold multilateralism and the multilateral trade system, and safeguard the common interests of developing countries, Xi said.

Holness said China opening its market wider to the world will greatly boost the sustainable development of the global economy.

Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean Sea after Cuba and Haiti. It established diplomatic ties with China in 1972 and forged friendly partnership for common development with China in 2005.

The six-day expo is composed of three parts: country exhibitions, business exhibitions and the Second Hongqiao International Economic Forum. Guests and representatives from more than 170 countries and regions have been invited to attend the expo. More than 500,000 buyers and visitors from home and abroad are expected to participate in the expo. The CIIE is the first import-themed national-level expo in the world. The 15 guest countries of honor are Cambodia, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, India, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Peru, Russia, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Zambia. (CCTV contributed to this story.)