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BRI offers new opportunities, Grenada's ambassador says

By Guo Rong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-04-23 17:04

Editor's Note: The second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held in Beijing on April 25-27.

Ahead of the forum, China Daily website has launched a series of talks with ambassadors of countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. In the fourth episode, we talk with Dr. Abbie S. David, Grenadian ambassador to China.

The Belt and Road Initiative provides an opportunity to plan long-term development — a feature many small countries lack due to shortage of capacity, the ambassador said.

The initiative also provides an opportunity for countries like Grenada to "access development financing otherwise difficult to secure from traditional institutions", David told China Daily in an exclusive interview.

With a total area of 133 square miles (344 square kilometers), Grenada carries big opportunities, she said.

The ambassador said Grenada is "looking forward to the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation", and believes the forum will help countries, especially smaller ones, gain information and make connections to obtain tangible benefits under the BRI.

Grenada will be represented at the forum by a three-member delegation, two of them being ministers, which shows "the importance we attach to the forum and the BRI", David said.

"Everything begins with dialogue," she said. "We believe this forum will be the place for dialogue, and will help others understand what Grenada is about and what is important to Grenada."

The forum will also be a place for Grenada to exchange views with the Chinese side and highlight Grenada's development opportunities, she added.

The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on jointly building the Belt and Road in September 2018.

Although Grenada has not yet launched any project under the BRI, it hopes to use the forum to initiate dialogue and develop mutually beneficial cooperation and projects under the BRI, according to the ambassador.

Grenada is a unique gem offering various opportunities, such as infrastructure development including climate-resilient infrastructure, hotel and tourism development, and agricultural trade, she added.

She said Grenada is known as the Isle of Spice, with an abundance of nutmeg and other spices, including cinnamon, clove, ginger, turmeric, and cocoa.

Grenada is a top producer of the nutmeg. "We have nutmeg on our national flag because it is so important to us," David said. "We hope to introduce it to China."

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