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Antigua and Barbuda has received considerable developmental assistance from the People’s Republic of China.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne, told reporters on Monday at the airport that his trip to China was very fruitful.
During the week-long trip, both countries signed several Memoranda of Understanding to provide additional developmental assistance to Antigua and Barbuda.
One of the most exciting agreements was regarding the re-piping of St. John’s, which is an essential part of the government’s plan to improve the production and distribution of water throughout both Antigua and Barbuda.
According to PM Browne, the Chinese government has agreed to provide infrastructural development assistance to Antigua and Barbuda.
This includes re-piping the entire country, which has an aging piping infrastructure. Normally, it would take up to two years to exchange letters of commitment with the Chinese government.
However, the matter was accelerated, and within the next twenty-four months, the country should see some commitment regarding the funding.
Apart from the re-piping exercise, other MOUs were signed between the two countries, including one dealing with the critical issue of climate change.
Antigua and Barbuda has been a vocal advocate for global action on this issue, as it faces an existential threat from the impact of climate change.
There was also an agreement signed between the Antigua and Barbuda delegation and a university in China for collaboration with the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus to conduct joint research.
The Prime Minister expressed confidence that this trip would enhance the relationship between the PRC and Antigua and Barbuda.
The strengthened relationship would not only benefit the macro leadership level based on the strong relations with the Chinese leadership, but it would also benefit the micro-business level. During the trip, the delegation visited a number of businesses in bio-medics, climate change, and electric vehicles.
The Prime Minister hopes to encourage two of those EV firms to do business in Antigua and Barbuda. The Prime Minister and delegation returned from the trip to the PRC on Monday.