Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference – CPPCC pays courtesy call on cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda
The Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, along with the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda received a courtesy call from His Excellency Mr. Ma Peihua, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on Monday.
During the opening exchanges, Prime Minister Browne stated his hope that the meeting would serve to strengthen existing bilateral relations between both countries. The Prime Minister also spoke extensively on the developmental assistance that China has rendered to Antigua and Barbuda since the establishment of diplomatic relations on 1st January, 1983 through numerous grants and concessional loans. “This assistance has led to the enhancement of not only the social well being of the citizens but has bolstered economic activity within the local economy,” said PM Browne.
Prime Minister Browne graciously extended a heartfelt thank you to President Xi Jinping of China for his country’s swift response to the adversity that Antigua and Barbuda faced following the passage of Hurricane Irma. Furthermore, the Prime Minister spoke towards the shared values held between both countries and the respect that China has shown to countries such as Antigua and Barbuda despite geographical size and economies of scale.
In response, His Excellency Ma Peihua extended best wishes on behalf of President Xi Jing and Premier Li Keqiang to the Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda. He remarked on the beauty and dynamism of the country and the mutual respect that both nations exhibited toward each other, which has provided a friendly platform for interaction.
His Excellency Ma Peihua also thanked the Government of Antigua and Barbuda for its assistance in facilitating the evacuation of Chinese nationals from Dominica after the passage of Hurricane Maria. Additionally, the Chairman also stated that China was prepared to assist in efforts to strengthen the Antigua and Barbuda economy through encouraging Chinese companies and businesspersons to invest in the nation, particularly in the tourism sector. Lastly, His Excellency Ma Peihua mentioned that Antigua and Barbuda like many developing countries was integral to China’s development through cooperation.
Prime Minister Browne welcomed the intention of China in encouraging numerous Chinese businesspersons to invest in Antigua and Barbuda. The Prime Minister also stated his Government’s commitment to empowering all citizens through an economic model that proposes equity throughout. Moreover, Prime Minister Browne enlightened His Excellency Ma Peihua on the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) Government’s economic model known as “Entrepreneurial Socialism” and proposed a collaboration of economic thought between the two nations which could serve to improving the lives of persons in developing countries.
Additional matters discussed were Antigua and Barbuda’s support for the One China Policy, the reform of the United Nations Security Council, reform in visa regulations, strengthening of air links between both countries and increased opportunity in training for public sector officials and scholarships for Antiguans and Barbudans.