President Xi Jinping gives joint interview

Updated: 2013-05-31 23:43


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Q: How do you view the growth of China' s relations with Trinidad and Tobago? What types of cooperation can be conducted in the field of energy? What tariff measures will China take to give manufactured goods of Trinidad and Tobago access to the fast-growing markets like BRICS?

A: I will be visiting Trinidad and Tobago shortly. It will be my very first visit to that country and also the very first visit paid by a Chinese President to the English-speaking Caribbean. I have high expectations for the visit.

China and Trinidad and Tobago enjoy a time-honored friendship. More than 200 years ago, the first group of Chinese settlers arrived at the island of Trinidad. They have since lived harmoniously with the local communities and become an integral part of the pluralistic society of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Chinese people will never forget that even before the two countries established diplomatic relations, the people of Trinidad and Tobago cast their solemn vote in favor of restoring the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations.

The exchange of diplomatic recognition in 1974 turned a new page in China-Trinidad and Tobago relations. I am so pleased to see that since then and particularly since the establishment of our friendly and cooperative relationship of mutual-benefit and development in 2005, we have made substantial progress in growing our relations. Trinidad and Tobago has become one of our most important partners in the English-speaking Caribbean. Our two countries have conducted fruitful cooperation in infrastructure, minerals, finance, telecommunications, public health and other areas, which contributed to economic and social development of both countries and the well-being of both peoples.

Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of our diplomatic ties. I hope the two sides will take this opportunity to work concertedly to elevate our friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation to a new height.

Trinidad and Tobago is a major oil and gas producer in the Caribbean region. With strong complementarity and tremendous potential, bilateral cooperation in the energy field may very well become a new growth point in China-Trinidad and Tobago partnership. Governments, financial institutions and enterprises from the two countries can go ahead with more exploration of energy cooperation in new forms and on a larger scale.

Given the great distance between the two countries, bilateral trade may be affected by high transportation cost. China has adopted effective tariff measures to facilitate trade with Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean countries. Many products of Trinidad and Tobago that are traditionally competitive are subject either to zero-tariff or to fairly low tariff rates in China. In fact, Trinidad and Tobago export to China in the recent decade has grown by nearly 30 times, reaching 140 million US dollars last year. I hope enterprises of the two countries will enhance their cooperation. Trinidad and Tobago companies are welcome to do business in the Chinese market.