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Statement by the Hon. Dennis Moses at the Signing Ceremony for the Framework Agreement between T&T and the Government of the People’s Republic of China concerning the provision of a Concessional Loan for the acquisition of a Multi-Purpose Patrol Vessel

MINISTRY OF
FOREIGN AND CARICOM AFFAIRS, AUGUST 9, 2017

Good morning.

Thank you all for attending
today’s Signing Ceremony to witness the formal acceptance by the Government of
the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago of a concessional loan from the Government
of the People’s Republic of China to facilitate the acquisition of a
Multi-Purpose Patrol Vessel.  

Before we proceed, I should like
to extend condolences to the Government and people of the People’s Republic of
China on the loss of life and the destruction caused by the earthquake which
struck Sichuan Province last night. Our prayers and thoughts are with the
families of the victims, including those who have been injured. The Government
of Trinidad and Tobago pledges its solidarity with and support for the people
of the People’s Republic of China during this challenging time. 

Distinguished guests, it is with
great pleasure that I address you as our countries take this much-anticipated
step to conclude the Framework Agreement which will join over sixty other
agreements concluded between Trinidad and Tobago and China during our many
years of cooperation. Such cooperation has yielded mutually beneficial tangible
results, which have the potential for contributing to the development and
well-being of our peoples well into the future.  

Far from being mere works of
prose, these agreements between Trinidad and Tobago and China have enabled us
to advance in several sectors, including partnership on major construction
projects such as the National Sporting Facilities, the Couva Hospital and
Training Facility and the National Academy for the Performing Arts, both in the
north and south of our country. Other bilateral arrangements have allowed for
the provision of grant funding, the formal establishment of working
relationships between agencies in both countries and linkages in areas of
common interest.

Agreements, as well as the
historical, political and social relationship between our countries, provide
the foundation for the wide range of cooperative initiatives in which Trinidad
and Tobago and China engage. In the area of security, our activities have
included the outfitting of the National Operations Centre of Trinidad and
Tobago, the provision of military aid, and training and development. Further,
in an effort to assist in advancing initiatives between our military
establishments, Trinidad and Tobago included the position of Military Attaché
at our Embassy in Beijing. 

These accomplishments
notwithstanding, the acquisition of the MultiPurpose Patrol Vessel for use by
the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, the first transaction of its kind between
our countries, created a new chapter in our security cooperation. And at this
juncture, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to acknowledge the contribution of
Ambassador Song towards consolidating further the relations between Trinidad
and Tobago, in particular through the realisation of the Framework Agreement we
are about to sign. 

In addition to the obvious
outcome of the finalisation of this agreement through signature, today’s
Signing Ceremony emphasises the commitment of the Government of the Republic of
Trinidad and Tobago to advancing its relationship with the Government of the
People’s Republic of China. Indeed, the Trinidad and Tobago Government has been
working assiduously toward this end, resolving outstanding issues and
developing alliances in other fields of interest. In the latter regard, two (2)
members of Cabinet have visited China thus far to further discussions on sport,
financial services and forensic science, among other areas.  

I wish to thank the Government of
the People’s Republic of China for continuing to work with the Government of
the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago towards the realisation of our development
goals, in particular for its offer of concessional resources to acquire the
Multi-Purpose Patrol Vessel. I also express appreciation to Ambassador Song and
my Cabinet colleagues whose special effort and diligence ensured the conclusion
of this agreement at this time.

Your Excellency, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, getting
to this day may have seemed like a protracted process, but I believe the words
of a popular calypso ring true: “Even though the road was long, no matter what
come, we knew we would make it.”

I thank you. 

Click here to view statement document-Statement by Minister Dennis Moses for Signing Ceremony for the Framework Agreement-Loan_Vessel.pdf

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