ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada: China is providing Grenada with a US$6 million financial package and removing visa restrictions on diplomats traveling from the Caribbean nation.
A Memoranda of Understanding, signed by Grenada Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing, will result in Grenada receiving US$6 million – US$1 million in a grant and the remaining US$5 million in gratuitous aid; the implementation of several measures, including the removal of visa restrictions for persons holding Grenadian diplomatic and official passports, as well as assistance with the maintenance of Grenada’s National Stadium.
The removal of the visa condition makes it easier for government officials and diplomats to travel to China.
The one-year agreement on the maintenance of the national stadium, allows for seven technicians to visit Grenada during the period to repair equipment and provide any required parts. During the year, Grenadian technicians will be trained to continue maintaining the facility after the agreement expires.
Wen said China was pleased with the support Grenada has given in international fora and wished to solidify the relationship further.
“We have a high value on the relationship with Grenada; we believe it is important that both countries work together,” he said. “Grenada is an important country in the Caribbean and we want to work together to strengthen all areas of that relationship.”
Wen said China is willing to assist in the areas of tourism, agriculture, human resource development, scholarships, technical and managerial expertise. He also promised that his government will support Chinese companies who wish to invest in Grenada.
Thomas welcomed China’s assistance and, while noting Grenada and the region’s “excellent tourism potential”, called for the development of a regional policy to harness the Chinese tourism market.
The signing of the Memoranda of Understanding followed an official ceremony marking the highlight of Thomas’ recent visit to China.