Governor General, Dr. Cecile La Grenade has received Letters of Credentials from two foreign Diplomats who have taken up residence in Grenada.
The first to present her credentials was Ambassador-designate of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Her Excellency Ou Boqian last week Thursday, then on Tuesday it was the turn of the Ambassador-designate of Venezuela, His Excellency Jorge Alfonzo Guerrero Veloz.
Her Excellency who warmly received both Ambassadors to her Office on the Carenage, St. George’s highlighted the benefits Grenada has been receiving from their respective countries.
Dr. La Grenade who accepted Ambassador’s Boqian credentials thus accrediting her as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the PRC to Grenada said the country had received assistance from China in the areas of healthcare, agriculture, education and housing.
The Governor General noted that over one hundred Grenadians have had the opportunity to pursue degree courses and short-term training programmes in various disciplines in China.
Following the passage of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, Taiwan was dumped by the then ruling Keith Mitchell-led Administration in the face of a more lucrative offer from the PRC.
At a recent meeting held with Caribbean Leaders in Trinidad, new Chinese President, Xi Jinping promised Grenada $20m in grant aid.
Dr. La Grenade indicated that the most visible example of the cooperation between the two countries is the rebuilding of the National Cricket Stadium at Queen’s Park, St. George’s.
Hurricane Ivan destroyed the first stadium and reconstruction of the sporting facility was facilitated by a group of Chinese construction workers.
The female Head of State assured Ambassador Boqian that the concessionary loans, grants, technical support, human resource development opportunities, medical personnel, humanitarian relief and debt relief given by Beijing are appreciated by the Grenada government.
“Your Excellency, Grenada will continue to work together with the People’s Republic of China in multilateral fora on issues of mutual concern, as we work towards deepening the relationship between our two governments and people,” Dr. La Grenade said.
Ambassador Bogian recognised Grenada as being “an important country in the eastern Caribbean”, noting that since the island attained political independence on February 7, 1974 from Britain, Grenada has played a positive role in international and regional affairs.
Ambassador Bogian said her government attaches great importance to growing the relations with Grenada.
She said since the resumption of diplomatic ties between Beijing and St. George’s eight years ago, China and Grenada have maintained frequent exchanges and deepened mutual understanding and political mutual trust.
The Chinese Ambassador indicated that both countries have conducted fruitful cooperation in the fields of economics, trade, culture, education, health and agriculture, and supported and cooperated with each other in international affairs.
In accepting Ambassador’s Veloz’s credentials, the Governor General highlighted the work that is being done by the Venezuelan Institute.
She said while the Institute fosters cultural links, it promotes the knowledge of Spanish in Grenada.
In addition, she said students have been receiving scholarships and financial aid for studies at colleges and universities in Venezuela.
Grenada has also been benefitting from the PetroCaribe initiative, which has been offering petroleum to Grenada on concessional terms through a financial arrangement.
Grant aid in the sum of US $30m from the Government of Venezuela was expended in the areas of the Grenada Youth Upliftment Programme, housing assistance, the hospital project, and the La Calome Housing Project at Westerhall, St. David’s.
Additionally, in 2010, grant aid was provided in the sum of US $6.1m for completion of the St. George’s Market, refurbishment of the Tanteen Pavilion and construction of the NCB Angel Harps pan house, construction of a community centre and Pavilion in St. Patrick’s, construction of a community centre and pavilion at Mont Toute, St. George’s, repair of roads and bridge at Ford in St. Andrew’s, and construction work at the General Hospital.
The Spanish-speaking Ambassador Veloz who spoke through an interpreter said he has come to give continuity to the dialogue and also to further deepen the relations existing between the peoples of Grenada and Venezuela.
Ambassador Veloz said the importance of Grenada for his country is expressed and manifested in the various agreements and cooperation projects between both countries over the years.
Grenada and Venezuela established diplomatic relations in 1977.