As the bilateral relationship between Grenada and the People’s Republic of China continues to strengthen, Chinese Ambassador to Grenada, Zhao Yongchen has indicated that going forward, apart from assistance in providing low-income housing and scholarship opportunity, there will be a greater focus on increasing experience with Grenada in state governance, poverty reduction, rural development, and smart city construction to promote economic growth and harmonious development of both countries.
During an interview with NOW Grenada, Ambassador Yongchen outlined ways that both countries can further create alliances that will see the mutual benefit for all involved. “With our long-term accumulated experience, China would like to increase the exchange of experience with Grenada in state governance, poverty reduction, rural development, and smart city construction to promote economic growth and harmonious development of their respective countries. I believe, with joint efforts from both sides, the relationship of comprehensive cooperation partnership will be continuously developed.”
Since the re-establishment of diplomatic ties with Grenada in 2005, the People’s Republic of China has provided scholarship opportunities to study in China under the Chinese Government Scholarship Programme.
“From 2005 to 2018, 190 Grenadian students have studied in China under the Chinese Government Scholarship Programme. Many of them were enrolled in prestigious universities in China and majored in international relations, macro-economy, finance, medicine, agriculture, urban planning, environmental engineering, and so on. During the same period, over 1,691 Grenadians have attended seminars or short-term training courses in China since 2005, covering a wide range of topics. Meanwhile, several bilateral courses have been custom made for Grenadians, among which four courses have been held in Grenada to better meet local situation and requirement,” he said.
This level of scholarship investment totals EC$31 million, with the training programme estimated to be EC$33 million.
According to Ambassador Yongchen, the 14 years since the resumption of the diplomatic relationship between China and Grenada have witnessed a huge breakthrough in communication and cooperation between both countries, especially in terms of human resources development.
“Human resource capacity building is part of our cooperation under Belt and Road Initiative. China and Grenada signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2018, which opened a new chapter in practical and friendly cooperation between our two countries,” he said. “First, as a major country in the world with international responsibilities, China provides sincere assistance to many developing countries including Grenada and helps them promote economic growth, human resources development, and good governance. Education and training are crucial to the social and economic development of a nation. When the degree pursuers and trainees return with knowledge and skills acquired in China, they are expected to make contributions to the development of Grenada.”
Ambassador Yongchen stated that China highly values its relations with Grenada and is ready to work with Grenada to further promote bilateral relations. “We are willing to discuss with the Grenadian government and relevant stakeholders on how to widen and deepen our cooperation. Expectation and wisdom of both sides are always welcome and encouraged.”