Everyone Benefits from Affordable Chinese Imports: Dr Worrell reminds guests at the ABCF 4th anniversary celebration

The President addresses the ABCF 4th anniversary audience. At the Head Table, left to right, are H E Ambassador Yan Xiusheng and Dr Chelston Brathwaite, Vice-President of the ABCF

The Association for Barbados-China Friendship (ABCF) celebrated the fourth anniversary of its foundation with a Chinese buffet luncheon at the Maxwell Del Mar Restaurant on Sunday May 21st . Guests included H.E YAN Xiusheng, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China (PRC) to Barbados; Ambassador Wayne McCook, Caricom Assistant Secretary General; Dr Andrew Downes, Professor Emeritus of the UWI; and visiting scholar Dr Ruben Gonzalez-Vicente of Birmingham University. 

In his remarks to the gathering, Dr DeLisle Worrell, President of the ABCF, commented on the ubiquity of China in our lives. He mentioned items in daily use which are made in China, from clothing to medical instruments, school supplies, materials for Kadooment costumes, electric vehicles and solar photovoltaic panels. Barbadians and Caribbean people buy these items because they are more affordable than items of the same quality bought from North America and elsewhere. When we buy Chinese products our money goes further, and we are better off.

We marvel at the productivity of the Chinese, and we wonder whether we can learn lessons from them to help to improve our own productivity and competitiveness.

Dr Worrell suggested that the first step to understanding the Chinese success lies with better knowledge about China, and in establishing ties of friendship with individuals in that country. The ABCF's mission is to help to make that possible. The association’s services include weekly updates of news and commentary drawn from Chinese sources; an informative website, updated frequently; an online magazine, Exchanges; webinars, including an ongoing youth forum hosted jointly by the ABCF and Zhejiang International Studies University (ZISU); and a variety of other activities. Dr Worrell noted that the Association expects to organise tours to China in the near future.

The Association was commended by Ambassador Yan, who pointed to the pivotal role the ABCF plays in creating opportunities for personal contacts between China and the Caribbean. He noted that the association’s work reinforces the diplomatic and economic ties which have grown between Barbados and China since formal ties were established 46 years ago.

The ABCF received a message of congratulation from the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, expressing appreciation for the association's active role in promoting bilateral exchanges and mutual understanding. 

The Bahamas-China Friendship Association sent congratulations on the fourth anniversary, and added that the work of the ABCF is deeply appreciated.

The Chinese Association of Trinidad and Tobago sent a message of appreciation for the ABCF's information services, and Ms Philomena Lee, Secretary-Treasurer of the Chinese Association of Barbados, offered congratulations on behalf of that association. 

Congratulations were sent from the Zhejiang International Studies University in the form of a video made by Ms TAO Guoxia (May), who provided the inspiration for the ZISU-ABCF Youth Forum, and students who manage and participate in the Forum.

ABCF Vice-President David Bulbulia proposed the toast to the ABCF, and guests raised their glasses of baijiu, the national drink of China. ABCF Vice-President Dr Chelston Brathwaite, the second Barbados Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, reminded guests that the personal links between China and the Caribbean are an essential complement to the business and financial links.

Dr Worrell expressed the appreciation of the Executive and members of the ABCF for the support and encouragement it has received from Ambassador Yan and the staff of the embassy of the PRC in Barbados, and from the CPAFFC, the Confucius Institute, the Chinese Associations of Barbados and Trinidad-Tobago, the friendship associations of our neighbours in the Bahamas and the rest of the Caribbean, and all our staff, helpers, members and supporters. Our association looks forward to providing more and better services in the coming months and years. 

The general public is invited to the ABCF’s upcoming activity, the third online Youth Forum, on Friday, June 9 at 8pm Barbados time. The topic is "Opportunities and challenges in the process of modernisation". The forum will be held by Zoom. For further information, you may reach us via the Contact page at ABCF-BB.COM, or by emailing ABCFBBassn@gmail.com.