Premier Li Keqiang and visiting Prime Minister Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago witness the signing of documents on cooperative initiatives in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday. (FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY)
China is willing to align the Belt and Road Initiative with Trinidad and Tobago's development strategy, Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday.
Li made the statement as he met with Prime Minister Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Rowley is on a six-day official visit to China that began on Monday, at Li's invitation.
Li welcomed Rowley on his first visit to China. Noting that Trinidad and Tobago is China's largest trade partner in the English Caribbean area, Li said the two countries, being highly complementary in development, hold great potential for further cooperation. He said China is willing to align the Belt and Road Initiative with Trinidad and Tobago's domestic development strategy and push forward bilateral cooperation in building infrastructure, energy, finance and agriculture.
China encouraged its own businesses to invest in Trinidad and Tobago on the basis of respecting market rules, Li said. China is willing to help the country within its capacity to develop its economy and improve people's livelihood.
Noting that Trinidad and Tobago was among the first group of countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China, and 2019 will mark the 45th anniversary of the ties, Li said China is ready to improve visa convenience between the two countries while further expanding bilateral communication in education, culture, sports and tourism.
China and countries in the Caribbean and Latin America are all developing countries, and relations between China and these countries is an important part of the South-South Cooperation, Li pointed out. He said he expects Trinidad and Tobago to play a constructive role in pushing forward such cooperation.
Rowley expressed his appreciation to China for years of continued support. He said Trinidad and Tobago is willing to work with China in building the Belt and Road Initiative and in the medical, health and finance fields.
The two leaders witnessed the signing of documents within the framework of Belt and Road Initiative on technical cooperation and cooperation in medical and health services and human resources.
Zhao Bentang, director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, said the talk between Li and Rowley is expected to inject momentum into further cooperation between the two countries.
"This has been the first MOU (memorandum of understanding) on the Belt and Road Initiative that China has signed with a country in the Caribbean area," he said.