The agreement for RMB50 million (reminbi) was signed during a press briefing at the Office of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell in the presence of Minister for Foreign Affairs Nicholas Steele.
Chinese ambassador to St. George’s, Ou Boqian signed the agreement on behalf of the People’s Republic of China.
Prime Minister Mitchell said that the grant funds were provided in keeping with a promise from China following a meeting in Trinidad and Tobago earlier this year of several Caribbean Prime Ministers and visiting Chinese President, Xi Jinping.
According to Dr. Mitchell, he indicated to the Chinese President that Grenada was facing serious economic challenges and that whatever grant support is being offered within the few years of the agreement, he needed immediate access to the finances.
Prime Minister Mitchell said that he also informed the Chinese President that he would like to look at a specific agreement for the next four to five years, where the country will have additional grant support from Beijing.
This will be in addition to other project support available to Grenada and other countries in the region.
The Grenadian leader noted that the assistance received from China will go a long way in sending the right message to Grenadians to improve their stocks, provide opportunities and hope for the people and the country’s economic survival.
Dr. Mitchell said his administration since taking office in February has invested heavily in several programmes particularly in the area of youth development.
The assistance from China, he added will help to meet that commitment as well as other services government will embark upon in the near future.
In response, the Chinese ambassador said that the monetary gift is an example of her country’s fraternal relationship and was hopeful that the grant will be of great help to Grenada’s economic development and national reconstruction of the island.
She pointed out that both countries witnessed rapid development in bilateral relations since re-establishing diplomatic relations in 2005.
Ambassador Ou Boqian mentioned some of China’s assistance to Grenada in the areas of agriculture, housing, and sports with specific reference to China’s commitment to begin work soon on the athletics stadium at Queen’s Park.
“I hope that this kind of exchange in economic corporation between our two countries will be further strengthened,” she said.
The Chinese envoy said she is confident that the bilateral relations now existing will be further developed.
Dr. Mitchell moved way from the Republic of China on Taiwan and re-established ties with Beijing soon after the island was devastated by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
The Chinese on the mainland offered St. George’s a lucrative package including the rebuilding of the cricket stadium at Queen’s Park and hundreds of low-income houses.