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China extends sugar help

Felix Chaudhary
Tuesday, January 07, 2014

CHINA has extended its assistance to the sugar industry with negotiations that could result in excess of 100,000 tonnes being sold at prices similar to that offered by the EU.

This is the word from Sugar permanent secretary Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi.

"We have had three delegations from China visit us over the past two weeks," he said.

"These have included a government team with heads of sugar industry stakeholders, agricultural experts and consultants.

"They have come here with a definite commitment to enter into serious business with our industry."

Lt-Col Vaniqi said the interest shown by China was timely.

"We have no choice but to turn to countries like China that have come forward in light of the end of the preferential quota system offered by the EU for African Caribbean Pacific sugar-producing nations in 2017.

"Our neighbours like Australia have not been forthcoming, so when the Chinese Government came forward with this very generous offer, it was very timely."

Lt-Col Vaniqi said apart from purchasing sugar, China would assist with the mechanisation and equipment to improve productivity and harvesting.

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