The Trinidad and Tobago delegation in China, led by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, left Shanghai today and traveled to the city of Shenzhen in the Guangdong Province, as the official visit to China continues.
Shenzhen is located in southeast China and links mainland China to Hong Kong. The city's economy is firmly rooted in the high tech industry and is a buzzing metropolis.
Prime Minister Rowley and his delegation were officially received by Chen Rugui, Mayor of Shenzhen, and other Shenzhen Municipal People's Government representatives at the Wuzhou Guest House.
During the meeting Prime Minister Rowley indicated that there is a lot that Trinidad and Tobago could learn from the way Shenzhen has grown and developed over the last forty years.
He said that this visit has deepened Trinidad and Tobago's understanding of how the special economic zone works and that this visit would be the basis of learning from and partnering with Shenzhen and other cities like it in the future.
Trinidad and Tobago is the first Caribbean nation to sign on to China's One Belt One Road (OBOR) otherwise known as the Belt and Road Initiative. OBOR was launched by His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China, in 2013 and is focused on creating and improving new links, trading routes and business opportunities with China.
Prime Minister Rowley told Mayor Rugui that Chinese foreign direct investment is very important to Trinidad and Tobago and issued an invitation to Mayor Rugui to not only visit Trinidad and Tobago himself, but also to put together a fact-finding delegation of government officials, university scholars, high tech professionals and business people to explore opportunities for partnering with the twin island state.
Mayor Rugui readily committed to putting things in place for such a delegation to undertake a visit in the shortest order.
Dr Rowley also reiterated his invitation for Chinese tourists to visit Trinidad and Tobago and take advantage of the impending ease of visa requirements as well as operationalisation of proposed air links.
Additionally, Mayor Rugui hosted the delegation to a banquet.
Earlier in the day Prime Minister Rowley and Mrs Rowley visited Lotus Hill Park and paid their respects at the statue of Deng Xiaoping who is widely recognised as the man responsible for the transformation of China.