The Governments of The Bahamas and the People’s Republic of China signed three agreements today. These further develop friendly relations and economic and technical cooperation between the two countries, and included:

* an investment promotion and protection agreement (to address the conditions for creating, stimulating, encouraging, promoting, improving, and protecting investment by Bahamian and Chinese investors in each other’s country);

* a framework agreement for the loan through the Chinese Exim Bank for the Airport Highway Project (which follows up on previous steps taken in the development of this project); and

* an agreement on economic and technical cooperation directed exclusively toward the construction of the national stadium.

Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham welcomed His Excellency Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China and several members of the Chinese Government before the signing ceremony in the Conference Room of the Cabinet Office in the Churchill Building.

He said The Bahamas and China have deepened their relationship over the past 12 years and that The Bahamas is *“very pleased”* with the support received from China in international matters.

*“In recent times we have had to call on China and you have graciously acceded to our request to escort our Bahamian registered ships. We are particularly pleased with the stand which you took with the meeting of the G20 in recent times on the question of tax havens,”* the Prime Minister said.

Chairman Wu said the visits of high ranking Bahamian and Chinese officials to China and The Bahamas have helped to strengthen relations, understanding and mutual trust between the two countries. *“Last year, the trade volume between our two countries reached US$386 million. Even though the figure is that big the trend of growth is very encouraging,”* Chairman Wu said. *“That figure is eight times the figure when we established diplomatic ties.”* According to Chinese statistics, The Bahamas’ investment in China amounted to US$1.2 billion.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. Brent Symonette signed the three agreements on behalf of The Bahamas and Vice Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China Madame Ma Xiuhong signed on behalf of China.