By O. Rodger Hutchinson
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Jamaica’s minister of science, technology, energy and mining, Phillip Paulwell, is projecting that “significant benefits” will flow to Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, arising out of the meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) held in Beijing, China, from January 8 to 9.
Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell. JIS Photo
The inaugural ministerial meeting of the China-CELAC Forum is considered an important event in the relations between China and Latin America and the Caribbean, and Paulwell believes that crucial discussions held covered very important issues, which will bear fruit in the short, medium and long term.
Speaking en route back to Jamaica, after his participation in the two-day meeting, Paulwell said several important Chinese business entities were represented at the forum and “mutual understandings were arrived at”.
“Some significant developments have taken place. I can’t speak specifically about them (now) but over time, you will see some specific activities emerging out of the bilateral discussions we were able to achieve,” he said.
Paulwell also pointed out that Jamaica’s leadership role in the Caribbean was highlighted and recognised by the Chinese at the meeting. The island was also hailed as a stellar example of Chinese investments outside of its own country.
“There are significant projects taking place now in Jamaica, and Jamaica is appreciated. The truth is, in the region, we are seen as the (shining) example of Chinese investments. Even though we are leading now, we anticipate that the entire region will get a taste of Chinese entrepreneurship,” he said.
Paulwell noted that effort was made by him to express Jamaica’s full appreciation and confidence of the Chinese government’s investment in the island. He added that other countries in the Caribbean region are examining and looking to see how they can learn from the relationship model that has been established between Jamaica and China.
The meeting was attended by ministers of government of all 33 member-states CELAC and top members of the government of China.