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Grenada Receives Six Million US in the Form of A Grant from China
Grenada Receives Six Million US in the Form of A Grant from China

China is providing Grenada with approximately six million United States dollars in the form of a grant (USD 1M) and gratuitous aid (approx USD 5M), according to memoranda of understanding signed in Beijing June 17, between Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao and Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, on the last day if his visit to Beijing.

In addition to the financial package, the two governments agreed to a number of measures, including, the removal of visa restrictions for persons holding Grenada diplomatic and official passports and assistance on the maintenance of the Grenada National Stadium.

The removal of the Visa condition makes it easier for government officials and diplomats to travel to the Peoples Republic of China.

The agreement on the maintenance of the national stadium, which covers a one year period, allows for  seven technicians to visit Grenada during the period to repair equipment and provide the required parts. It also covers training for Grenadian technicians who will continue to maintain the facility after the Agreement expires.

Premier Wen said China was “happy” with the support Grenada has given in international fora and wanted to further deepen the relationship.  “We have a high value on the relationship with Grenada, We believe it is important that both countries work together. Grenada is an important country in the Caribbean and we want work together to strengthen all areas of that relationship, the Premier said.

He told the Grenada delegation that China is willing to assist in the areas of tourism, agriculture and human resource development, scholarships and technical and managerial expertise while promising tht his government will support Chinese companies, willing to invest in Grenada.  The Chinese leader called on Grenada and the region to find ways of attracting more Chinese tourists  to the Caribbean.

Prime Minister Thomas welcomed the assistance from the Peoples Republic of China and congratulated the government and people of the PRC for their  management of the economy and successfully hosting the 2008 Olympic Games.

He updated the Chinese leader on the economic conditions prevailing in St. Georges, pointing to  contraction of both the tourism and construction sectors, with tourism expected to fall sharply in the new winter season. However Prime Minister Thomas said he was hopeful that growth will return to the local economy.

He noted Grenada and the region’s “excellent tourism potential but called for the development of a regional policy and approach to harness the Chinese tourism market.

The signing of the Memoranda of Understanding followed an official welcome ceremony with a full military honours, at the Great Hall of the People, directly opposite to Tianamen square. This marked the highlight of the four day visit during which the Prime Minister held discussions with the Chinese government and a number of Chinese Private Sector companies including the Aviation Industry of Corporation China (AVIC) which has an interest in hotel and tourism development through one of its sub subsidiaries.

A delegation from Avic has accepted an invitation from Prime Minister Thomas to visit Grenada as part of a followup on the discussions which started in Beijing on Wednesday. The Prime Minister and his delegation were given guided tours of the Birds Nest Olympic stadium and the National Aquatic Center earlier in the day.

The delegation leaves Beijing for Guandong Province, a leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment, on Thursday. Prime Minister will meet with state officials to discuss assistance to Grenada in agriculture.

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