2005-02-10 / Caribbean Corner

caribbean roundup

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (AP) – His Excellency Zeng Qinghong, Vice Pre-sident of the People’s Republic of China, said his Government would continue to assist Caribbean countries without attaching any political conditions and would be encouraging Chinese enterprises to invest more in the region.

The Vice President was speaking during last Wednesday’s opening of the China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum 2005, at the Jamaica Conference Center in Kings-ton, where he put forward a five-point proposal for the continued and substantive progress of China-Caribbean relations on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win results.

According to the Jamaica Informa-tion Service (JIS), he listed the proposal as: maintaining the exchange of high level visits and cementing political re-lations; creating new forms and explor-ing existing areas of cooperation; giving full play to the role of government in providing quality services; promoting cultural exchanges and enhancing mutual friendship and enhancing consultation and cooperation to safeguard common interests.

Expounding on the proposals, Qing-hong said that good political relations was an important foundation and a strong guarantee for friendly relations and cooperation in the economic, trade and other fields. He said China stood ready to enhance communication and exchanges with the region’s governments, political parties and parliaments and to actively promote exchanges at all levels in all fields.

China has established diplomatic ties with 10 Caribbean countries to date, al-most all of whose leaders have paid visits to China, and Chinese leaders have also visited some of these territories.

Qinghong pointed out that the Ca-ribbean countries, over the years, have supported China firmly as was evident last year when China got strong support from many Caribbean countries in its application for permanent observer status in the Organization of American States (OAS).

Meanwhile, the vice president said efforts should be made to tap into the trade potentials and to optimize the China-Caribbean trade structure. He spoke highly of the recognition of China’s full market status by the Ca-ribbean countries including Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, St. Lucia, Dominica, Suriname, Trinidad & To-bago and Jamaica.

He also made reference to the abundant tourist resources available in the Caribbean region and noted that China- Caribbean tourism cooperation had a promising future.

In order to create a favorable environment for economic and trade activities, the vice president said, governments on both sides should enhance the exchange of market, commodity and trade information, and also act as a bridge between enterprises, encouraging them to attend trade fairs held by the respective countries.

He suggested also, that to improve the investment environment, governments should put legislation in place that would be favorable to two-way investment and push for the signing and implementation of agreements on protecting investment and avoiding double taxation.

As far as cultural exchange is concerned, Qinghong said that both China and the Caribbean have a splendid history and culture and as such, much could be done in developing cultural exchanges.

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) – Community Development and Culture Minister Joan Yuille-Williams is satisfied with this year’s Carnival celebrations and hopes to focus more attention on the Carapichaima festivities next year.

The Minister made the comments as she and Minister in the Ministry of Culture, Eudine Job-Davis, joined Port of Spain Mayor Murchison Brown in witnessing Trini Revellers’ presentation, Conquest of the Indies.

Minutes before the 18-section, 2,000- strong band paraded in front of the judg-ing point at the Lord Kitchener Stand, South Quay, the Minister said: “I’m quite satisfied with what I’ve seen so far. I think that the management has been good and the masqueraders and public have been cooperative.”

The Port of Spain mayor proudly proclaimed this year’s Carnival a success, calling the Jouvert celebrations one of the best he had seen in years.

Brown said: “I think in Port of Spain we have had a very good Carnival. On Saturday our judges saw over 100 bands. On Carnival Sunday it was 51 bands and quite a number of individuals. (Mon-day) the Jouvert celebrations were one of the best we have had in years.”

He continued: “After the parade of the bands (that day) we left here after the last band left at 8.45 p.m. Today we started around 8.30 a.m. Since that time we have had one or two lapses but every time it picks up we have a steady flow. I believe we may be here later than we were on (Monday) night. We had a very successful Carnival 2005. Things have gone very smoothly.”

Tribe was the first band to cross the judging area yesterday at 8.45 a.m. They were then followed by MacFar-lane’s The Washing By Fire and Water.

‘dead or alive’ fever sweeps through T&T as revelers enjoy terrific tuesday

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) – Shurwayne Winchester performs his mega hit “Dead or Alive” with the band Traffik at the Queen’s Park Savannah.

Shurwayne Winchester’s “Dead or Alive” fever swept through Trinidad and Tobago on a blazing hot Carnival Tuesday as the song was played and played and played all the day long at the Queen’s Park Savannah and other major judging venues .

If there was any doubt that last year’s Road March King could hold on to the title for a second year running, all doubts were quashed by midday, when it seemed that there were no other offerings for Carnival 2005.

Though there were snippets of Destra’s “Fly,” Iwer George’s “Ease The Tension,” Machel Montano’s “Madder than Dat” and KMC’s “First Experience,” “Dead or Alive” was far out front, with none in hot pursuit.

This broke the mould of the last three years when the Road March was more closely contested.

ST. GEORGE”S, Grenada (AP) – Grenada has started the construction of pre-fabricated houses as part of efforts to rebuild the country, following the devastation cause by Hurricane Ivan last September.

Minister of Social Development Yo-lande Bain Joseph turned the sod to officially mark the start of construction of pre-fabricated houses as part of the rebuilding process in the country.

The minister was accompanied by Chairman of the Emergency Housing Committee Simeon Collins, along with representatives of TIACO, the Trini-dad & Tobago-based company responsible for manufacturing the houses.

The ceremony took place at Mt. Toute in the Parish of South St. George, where construction of 10 of the houses began last month.

The minister said it is a significant moment in the reconstruction drive, since the houses are hurricane resistant and can be constructed in a matter of days, adding that as a result of TIACO providing the raw materials the availability of building materials would not be a problem.

TIACO Director Roshan Barbulal said the pre-fabricated structures have been tried, tested and approved in the US, Europe and other parts of the world.

The houses can withstand a Cate-gory 5 hurricane and are best suited for the terrain in Grenada.

TIACO has been contracted by the Emergency Housing Committee to provide 100 houses in the first phase; which will be given to needy and vulnerable people.

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