Friday, October 18, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
An Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement was signed between the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the People’s Republic of China during a special ceremony, October 16, in the Committee Room of the House of Assembly.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell signed the agreement on behalf of The Bahamas and Hu Shan, Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas signed for China.
Minister Mitchell said the signing ceremony represents the culmination of work that has been put in, but most of all it is a symbol of the friendship between the two countries.
“We are deeply appreciative of the grant, which amounts now to a total of $13 million. I know the Prime Minister has a list of projects which he has allocated to this. So it is a special pleasure to be able to accept the gift and to assure you that it will be used for the betterment and development of our country,” he said.
Philip Miller, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the signing is the culmination of the work done by several Bahamian government agencies and the embassy of China since June of this year when President Xi Jingping extended the offer of technical assistance to The Bahamas government in Trinidad and Tobago.
“It is a sterling example of the type of cooperation that existed between our two countries since the establishment of diplomat relations in May 1997,” noted Miller.
The Chinese government fully supports Prime Minister Christie’s “concrete” ideas on the usage of the agreement said ambassador Hu.
“The result of the agreement is more good deeds and concrete things for The Bahamas with friendly cooperation between the two nations being foremost,” added the ambassador.
Among the projects included in the agreement are an agricultural school to be constructed in Andros, the establishment of sporting facilities in the Family Islands and a school for children with special needs.
The signing is the second of two agreements.
Miller explained that a technical agreement was signed in 2011 with the PRC for $5 million.
“We never drew down on it and in June when President Xi Jingping met with all of the Caribbean heads in Trinidad, he extended another $8 million. Now all together we have $13 million for any projects that we will identify,” said Miller.
Mitchell indicated that he hopes to visit China in two weeks and at that time directly express appreciation to the Chinese government for its commitment to the relationship between the two nations since its inception in 1997.