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BARBADOS - Chinese visit

CHINA could well be a strategic partner in the development of a Caribbean cruise line.
But Kerrie Symmonds, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, believes that a 500-passenger vessel may be more adequate than a 3 000- or 4 000-passenger mega ship.

“I rather believe that Barbados and the Caribbean are strategically located in a position where we can bring a brand of excellence which sees a vessel of about 500 passengers...,” he said.

This was among the issues discussed when vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Yu Ping, met with Symmonds at his office yesterday.
That discussion included the possibility of partnerships with China to develop ownership in the region’s cruise tourism industry.
“The Caribbean controls 52 per cent of the world’s cruise tourism business and feels it is time we have some greater degree of physical ownership in the cruise tourism plant,” Symmonds said.
He added that the cruise ship industry was important in the context of the Caricom Single Market and Economy. “We need to ensure that the region develops an access to the largest single market,” he said.

Seem here at Villa Nova

Symmonds told the Press conference that issues surrounding air services were also discussed.
“Barbados is the 64th country in the world to be granted approved tourism destination status from the People’s Republic of China. That means we have to place the necessary equipment on the ground and in the air to ensure that we transport people from this populace market to this region,” he said.


Similar sentiments were echoed by Minister of Industry and International Business Development Dale Marshall later in the day during the business conference.

Speaking during the opening of the afternoon session at Sherbourne Conference Centre, Marshall said China could become a strategic partner in developing Caribbean cruise lines. “They would not only bring adequate returns to Chinese investors, but would also allow the Caribbean to reap greater benefits from cruise tourism,” he said.
Nation news

Harrisons cavesMore than 50 investors drawn from various chambers of commerce across China are loving every moment of their familiarisation tour of Barbados, and yesterday, the treat continued at historic Harrison’s Cave in St Thomas.
Just before spending half-hour touring the unique underground cave with its stalagmites and stalactites, the Chinese, accompanied by Cabinet Minister Kerrie Symmonds, were introduced to some delightful steel pan.

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