Antigua government minister says China can do more for small islands

Maria Browne (l) with Chinese official

China has been called upon to continue to assist countries with their reconstruction efforts following Hurricanes Maria and Irma but to do so at a low cost to the islands.

Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica in September 2017 leaving the island in rumbles.

The Peoples Republic of China has assisted Dominica and other islands in several areas.

But Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Housing, Land and Urban Renewal, Maria Browne believes more can be done.

Browne was speaking at the 10thInternational Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum held in Macao, People’s Republic of China over the weekend.

“We urge you to devise ways in which we can upgrade our technical and managerial capacities in the construction industry through training methods.  We also urge you to provide expertise in the use of non-waste and clean technologies and assist us in the provision of educational opportunities that will increase builder knowledge of available sustainable technologies,”  she stated.

Minister Browne pointed out that embarking on a programme of sustainable development is a costly venture with numerous challenges.  She outlined that it requires consistent flow of financial resources to address increased costs for the steps needed to tackle environmental concerns and to accelerate sustainability.

“The transforming of our economy to a green economy is paramount to my administration, however we depend on our partner governments and institutions represented here to recognize that the challenges we face in transitioning to sustainable development are great.  As a small developing nation, it is our hope that conferences like these can provide guidance for us to adopt policies and technologies to enable our construction sector to not only meet our development goals, but to ensure that little or no harm comes to the environment or to human health,” Minister Browne said.

In calling for collaboration, Minister Maria Browne said that the end result must be affordable materials for construction, significantly low interest rates on loans for construction development, utilization of more local labour and the utilization of resources with minimal impact to the environment.

The Housing Minister was also quick to point out to the hundreds in attendance at the forum, that the Gaston Browne administration was doing its part in achieving sustainable development.

“On embarking on our urban renewal and development programme, we have implemented a number of measures that mitigates against damage to our environment and accelerates our green agenda,” she said.

She listed some of these measures as increasing labour-intensive construction and maintenance technologies which generate employment in the construction sector; providing tax exemptions on building materials making them affordable for persons who are in need of low income housing; decreasing the rates of interest on loans provided for low income families; and enforcing standards and other measure which promote increased use of energy-efficient designs.

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28 Comments

  1. viewsexpressed
    June 10, 2019

    It is time we kill this dependency and have structures inn lace where our people can engage in positive country development with supplementary assistance coming from outside. Be it China, USA, UK, but we run to hug China just for hugging sake. With all these alliances and diplomatic talk we, our Island and our people are still in deep poverty and there is no development taking place because our belly string is still attached to breast feeding from China, USA, UK, Venezuela, etc. In addition to this we have inn office
    We must put a foundation in place to compliment our resources, aid etc to us. We must take the lead and not have China control our country and who we relate to. It is sad that China behaves in a wicked and unprofessional way to say to us that we cannot and must not link with or be in partnership with Taiwan. This is an abuse, and China is behaving like this rogue to control countries in need and then tells us who we must partner with. This abusive behaviour must stop.

  2. Holiday Island Boy
    June 9, 2019

    China’s mantra is: ‘Its not what we can do for your country, but what we can do for ours.”

  3. Jess
    June 8, 2019

    Minister Browne you are young, strong, confident and motivated. You have a job to do and you know it. You will get the results you want. You are determine and you will do well. May God continue to bless and guide you through.

  4. Original
    June 8, 2019

    These people speak of the built environment and China like this is China, we have to develop and grow our capacity as a society. Why isn’t there a functioning board of architects in any of the oecs countries? China can’t fix this, we have to give our society its form and identity, this is sad especially coming from a minister, she should be the one who understands this more than any other just sad. The question these governments should be asking is why are we not trading with China instead of seeking handouts. There are things that societies do on their own, this speaks to the goals which are set by those societies. Just poor leadership in my opinion!

  5. Flat Tire
    June 8, 2019

    When you look at the comments of characters like Joseph John you know those are not characters who are interested country. We know they are characters who most likely benefiting from the corrupt system

  6. Jonathan Y St Jean
    June 8, 2019

    It’s so shameful these days that our leaders come out making demands of other organizations and countries. Does she know that there is still massive poverty in China? On the other hand ow much monetary assistance has these poor small countries given to China and other countries. When are we going to work hard at trying to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps? When are we going to instill into the minds of our citizens hat they have to do more to help themselves. This mentality is what leads to laziness and corruption.

  7. Joseph John
    June 7, 2019

    I guess we do not want the assistance of anyone or any country because we have the necessary resources (the big money) and we cannot be beggers. And we cannot be colonies. That is what we learnt in 5 grade with the all opposition fifth graders .

  8. Ibo France
    June 7, 2019

    The Caribbean must learn to do more for themselves because we have the capability. At times we will have to go out of the region to seek assistance because the resources, skills and necessities are insufficient. Having said that, we beg and rely on outside forces too much. We have to become more of a producer of goods and less of a consumer of goods. We consume too much and produce too little. Look around the Caribbean, the Chinese, Indians, Middle Easterners are the business people, we, the born and bred ‘Caribbeaners’, are the consumers of these people’s products. Our import bill is astronomical and growing while our exports are minimal. We have to become more of an entrepreneurial mind-set if we are to progress in leaps and bounds.

    • Joseph John
      June 8, 2019

      IIbo of France, when some people make unreasonable or unsubstantial statements because they are uninformed like a 5th grader they have to be excused, its not their fault. But when educated ones deliberate manipulate the masses with fake inducements that is just plain wicked. Me, I am just to old to fall for their scams.
      For the first time I see a reasonable posting come from your good side. I
      I have to agree that our problem in undeveloped countries is our trade deficit. Our import vs our export is like the elephant vs the mouse.
      Our main problem in Dominica is that we prefer foreign goods to local production. Our private sector is regressive so our public sector (government) has to bear the full burden for development. With 70 thousand people and tax payment from about 30k it is impossible to meet our capital needs without depending of outside help. Or on an extensive local market for goods and services That is a prescription for persistent poverty. In order to get o

    • Joseph John
      June 8, 2019

      to get out of this cycle of persistent poverty WE need to change our negative attitude and attributes. Like you say we need to change our mind set. In this post modern era we cannot remain in the times before the age of enlightenment or that era of hunters and gathers we have to move beyond that or those with political agendas and foreign exploiters will continue to manipulate us to our disadvantage. We need to turn the table on them.
      Back to China. Before world war 2 which ended in 1945 China was the most exploited and minimized country in the world. Foreign enclaves like Mancuria and Hong Kong controlled their wealth with a two China policy. Today China is on a par with the USA except that China does not control the universal wealth through international corporation like the USA. The US has an imperial policy and China has a friendly policy. Ok, look at how US imperial corporate policies have destroyed our lime , citrus, mango, sugar industries.( And banana thru
      Chiquita) .

    • Joseph John
      June 8, 2019

      Look at how an oil producing country like Trinidad has no billionaires . With less than 2 million people Trinidad oil production wealth can make all Trinidadians millionaires and make us Caribbean people thousanaires but Texaco controls 80% of that wealth and profits are repatriated to the USA. They get the driblets from their own oil. Remember when Trinidad was the only country in the world with a pitch lake. Material from the lake was used to pave roads but Texaco ensure that oil based material is now used instead. And how much assistance have we ever received from the USA as a country.
      Back to China: China has never destroyed any countries industry or its people. We can see China helping people and countries all over the world on a friendly basis. China even helped the USA (under Obama) to overcome its worst depression in modern times. So if China is evil, it is the lesser evil.
      Back to you IIbo and those who share your political ideology. We as Dominicans should not

    • Joseph John
      June 8, 2019

      We as Dominicans should never hate each other because we have different political views.
      We have the capacity , the resources and the intelligence to pass the mare survival stage into real development. So what is stopping us. Do we have the will to succeed as a people, one nation under God.
      Thanks Sir, for the inspiration Mr Ibo.
      Even if DNO do not print my entire posting because of its divisiveness policy. Its a relief to discover reasonable people are alive and well. Thanks again.

      ADMIN: Really?

  9. Rat Race
    June 7, 2019

    The more they give is the more they take. Have we learnt nothing from our ancestors?

    • Joseph John
      June 7, 2019

      How do they take it? Do we give it to them or do we sit and let them take it? I may be a 5 grader but I will not let anyone take my recess.

      • Rat Race
        June 7, 2019

        One example of what china is doing in, Zambia muchless for a small nation like Dominica or Antigua

        https://www.africanliberty.org/2018/09/10/china-is-taking-over-zambia-national-assets-but-the-nightmare-is-just-starting-for-africa/

        • Joseph John
          June 7, 2019

          I read the news clip that you suggested . Those African countries lost the assets they used colaterral for money borrowed and could not pay . Poor financial and negotiation skills.

          • Rat Race
            June 10, 2019

            True but if you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it.
            Dominica does not have the financial capacity to borrow these huge sums furthermore from a country like China that has no remorse when collecting.
            The Caribbean should be more united financially then we would be able to provide for each other.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
        • June 8, 2019

          China please find those valuable resources in Dominica that the Spanish, French and British failed to find after hundreds of years of colonial occupation.

      • Ibo France
        June 7, 2019

        JJ, do you think that the Chinese are so naturally benevolent? They just give and want absolutely nothing in return. They are God’s chosen people. Go find your thinking cap and come again? My five years young cousin thinks much deeper than you.

        • Joseph John
          June 7, 2019

          Ibo is not in France. Ilbo is the name of a terrorist group. Are you sending a coded message.
          This is not about benevolence, this is business. The Chinese have a reputation of being very smart businessmen.
          Leave your cousin out of this ………………………………………… If you have taken loans and have not paid that is matter for you. You kept the money and kept your security. That is what good thiefs do. They steal money legally.
          That is how business fail in Dominica. You guys appeal to benevolence and cwady (credit) and refuse to pay. Remember Pappy who had a thriving business in the Canefield flats and had a boat ?
          Do you how many people lost cars and homes because of repossession and became homeless because the lost job and income and could not pay the bank. I guess you are too tricky for this.

      • June 8, 2019

        Remember the days when we were taught that Rusia was an evil empire. It is now China’s turn to be the victim of US propaganda. Those that are anti China seem to be getting their talking points from the US, the same China that helps finance much of the US debt.

        • Joseph John
          June 10, 2019

          Yes China is the evil Empire where they do not have more than 1mil homeless people. The wall street journal of 8-9 June 2019 stated that Los Angeles, California, has over sixty thousand homeless. In China all education and health service is free. In the USA your health insurance can be rejected and you are left to die, and students are overburdened by loans.
          Oh yes, which country has China invaded or impose sanctions because they want regime change.

        • Joseph John
          June 10, 2019

          The same China that is building the state of art hospital. But in Dominica there are agents of international corporations who feed on that negative propaganda and they want us to feed on it also with our eyes closed. Well Skerrit has open our eyes with his proactive positive leadership re Erica, Mathew and Maria.

  10. Frank N Stein
    June 7, 2019

    Ms Browne the intellect. Our Gucci want to be on her level but first Gucci you have to get a degree.. You have the money start working before you further embarass yourself

    • June 7, 2019

      Others are always better than us, that’s the mantra of the UWP.

    • Joseph John
      June 7, 2019

      How easy you able to attack women. That seem to be the strongest assets of the opposition gang bangers. They think they can scare women into voting for them.
      Yet they call the PM a coward. Maybe those 5th graders do not know what coward means. Well not even the rats Drigo see at the police station are afraid of people who call our women prostitutes. We en fraid, we en fraid of them, of all of them. The harder they come the harder they fall. Our ladies know how to be empowered with self defense. Remember “progress not commess”

  11. Bring back the kidnapped Dominican parrots
    June 7, 2019

    Do more as in make them a Chinese colony.Dominica is already half colony.

    • Joseph John
      June 7, 2019

      At least we are half of something. Not nothing like those cruelers with their mean and angry uwp looks.

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