Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Catalyst for growth

Chinese investment can serve as a catalyst for economic growth and development in Barbados and the wider region, insists Pro Vice- Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles.

Commenting on China’s recent declaration of its intent through engaging the region in discussions on trade, investment promotions and double taxation agreements, he suggested that full advantage must be taken of the relationship, especially in the area of pushing regional goods into the Chinese market.

“Chinese trade with the region is now in excess of US$10 billion, the bulk of which is importation into China. We need to do much better in exporting to the peoples of China,” he stressed.

Bridging the gap

In addition, Sir Hilary spoke on the vital role to be played by UWI in this relationship.

“The Cave Hill Campus and University of the West Indies will assist in building, for our private sector, long-term mutually beneficial relations with China, focusing on how best to align our interest with China’s strategic outlook,” he stated, saying the university would help citizens understand Chinese culture at the macro and micro level.

“We will also assist Chinese investors in understanding Caribbean investment cultures. We believe that Chinese investors can be encouraged to understand our industrial relations system, our laws, and particularly the rule of good corporate governance. Good corporate citizenship will assist our Chinese investors in recognising the importance of investing in sports, education and culture. The institute will promote private/public partnerships relations and remove whatever doubts there might be about Chinese corporate investment in the region. The future can be very positive for Barbados and the Caribbean in respect to this relationship, and the Cave Hill campus can be a critical enabler in the future,” he explained.

Sir Hilary made the remarks while addressing the recent ceremony to unveil the plaque for the Confucius Institute at Cave Hill. (JMB)

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