Feature: 1st China-proposed BRI project in the Caribbean draws foreign investment
The photo shows the main entrance of a factory in the modern Phoenix Park Industrial Estate, built by the Chinese company Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG), in Trinidad and Tobago. (Xinhua/Zhu Wanjun)
The Trinidad and Tobago Phoenix Park Industrial Estate, the Caribbean's first project under the Belt and Road Initiative, continues to attract local and foreign investment.
PORT OF SPAIN, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- An industrial park in Trinidad and Tobago continues to attract local and foreign investment after becoming the Caribbean's first project under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
Designed and built by China's Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG), the Trinidad and Tobago Phoenix Park Industrial Estate covers an area of about 580,000 square meters.
The facility's management began a month ago by the Evolving Technologies and Enterprise Development Co. Ltd (e TecK), a state company under Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the park uses artificial intelligence tools and high-speed Internet connectivity for better installment management, energy efficiency and environmental protection. In addition, it has full access to water, electricity, gas services, wastewater treatment and green belts.
Five standard factory buildings, each covering an area of 5,000 square meters, have been built in the park at the first stage. They facilitate the production flow and operation of companies first installed in the park, in the surroundings of the port of Point Lisas, located in the central-western part of the country.
Meanwhile, Sekou Alleyne, president of InvesTT, the national investment promotion agency, said dozens of domestic and foreign companies are interested in investing in the facility.
"The proximity to the port and the infrastructure in the park is of the most interest to the investors," said Alleyne, who has visited China plenty of times over the past few years.
For his part, Daniel Duncan, vice president of e TecK, noted that it is vital for Trinidad and Tobago to extend investment opportunities beyond the energy and gas sectors.
"As the country is striving towards diversification and not dependent on oil and gas only, these types of development are critical to Trinidad and Tobago, hence the reason the Phoenix Park Industrial Estate," he said.
The first Chinese company settled at Phoenix Park was SUMMIT, a company founded in 2001 in the Chinese province of Guangdong and specialized in suitcase production.
This park is "practical in terms of transport aside from being a tax-free zone," said Huang Qiujiu, head of the company.
"We learn the machines and everything," SUMMIT worker Trevon Dimsoy told Xinhua. "I want to work here."
Once the industrial park operates at full capacity, authorities estimate that 4,500 jobs will be created.