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Chinese President talks energy in Trinidad

TRINIDAD: Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks on the Asian giant’s energy needs with leaders of Trinidad and Tobago, as he prepared to wrap up Sunday his first stop on a regional tour.

“We both agree to actively advance cooperation in key areas such infrastructure development, energy and minerals and also to continue to advance our cooperation in new areas of mutual and beneficial cooperation such as agriculture, telecommunications and new energy,” Xi told reporters after talks with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and President Anthony Carmona.

“Today is a historical day in for us,” Persad-Bissessar said, hailing this landmark first visit by a Chinese president to her Caribbean nation of 1.3 million, a former British colony just off Venezuela’s coast.

She stressed that China was a “key business partner and potential new market” that was increasingly involved in Trinidad’s energy sector.

“Today we have signed a number of agreements with China.

In this regard, we seek to deepen bilateral collaboration in the areas of trade and investment, energy, technical cooperation and cultural exchanges,” Persad-Bissessar added.

Trinidad, which has vast oil resources as well as natural gas, earns 40 percent of its income from the energy sector, which makes up 80 percent of its exports, according to government data.

“Coal, as you know, is not the cleanest fuel and this has impacted on the environment in China,” Ramnarine told reporters.

“There is a strategy in China to move the country away from coal and toward (cleaner) natural gas.”

Xi, who arrived here on the first leg of a Latin America and Caribbean tour aiming to strengthen Beijing’s trade ties in the region, heads to Costa Rica and Mexico, ahead of a June 7-8 summit with US President Barack Obama in California.

AFP

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