Local Chinese delegation attends Conference of Guangdong Overseas Chinese Friendship Association in Canada
WILLEMSTAD - On May 24 this year, a delegation comprised of local Chinese traveled to an important conference of the Guangdong Overseas Chinese Friendship Association which was held in Vancouver, Canada. The event itself took place from May 28 until the 30th. But the delegation traveled earlier to visit the Chinese communities in Toronto and Vancouver. In these two cities, there are the largest Chinese communities in Canada.
The delegation leader, Peter Wong, who is the Vice President of the local Chinese Club and also Director of the Chinese School spoke to Curaçao Chronicle about this important event.
This is the first time a local Chinese club participates in this conference. According to Wong, it was also important to attend because it is not only beneficial for the Chinese community but also for the island of Curaçao. "It puts the island on the map for the Chinese community worldwide," said Wong. And this effect continues to spread to other nations by their networks infinitely.
"Because of the new technology, the other delegations can also know about the Chinese community in Curaçao. But we had to be there to present ourselves to them." Wong has an extensive background in his home country and he is also prominent everywhere he goes, he has become essential in promoting Curaçao on an international level, especially in the Chinese community.
"As an organization, one of our priorities was to give more information about the island. This is why we put so much effort in being part of this conference. The other delegations didn't know about Curaçao. That is also why we never received an invitation from them until about 3 years ago. Since then this has changed. We were in Mexico and Suriname respectively in the past 2 years. This year it was in Vancouver and next year it will be in London. We will be there," said Wong.
50 countries were represented during the conference. This means that Cantonese Chinese people living in 50 different countries were present. The conference was attended by 1800 participants. All of them Cantonese Chinese originating from the Guangdong (Canton in Cantonese) province.
The objective of the conference was to make an inventory of what the needs are of the Cantonese Chinese overseas. The delegations discussed trade, economy and tourism. Then they streamlined this with the policy of the Chinese government. There are two policies the Chinese government adheres itself to. The vertical and the horizontal policy. In the vertical policy, the Chinese government seeks to assist the Chinese communities overseas through the hierarchy of its political system. The horizontal policy is more focused on how the delegations can be of assistance to one another.
During the conference, the delegations also had the opportunity to socialize and discuss topics of mutual interests and how they can be beneficial to one another.
"The Chinese policies are based on collaboration. This is one of the reasons why even when the local economy is not doing so well, the Chinese businesses are thriving. Events like this which takes place once a year promotes this type of collaboration," said Wong.
Chinese companies are looking for business opportunities everywhere, including Curaçao. China is now a rich country in which the HDI (living standard is included) is rising rapidly and steadily. Now China can and wants to invest in other countries as a strategy for even more growth and wealth. Doing so results in mutual benefits for all the involved parties.
Examples of these investments in our region are Argentina and Brazil. The Chinese State is prominent in those countries and is doing a lot of business with them. According to Wong, this could also be Curaçao.
"What we have here is synergy between the countries. They are exchanging resources. Curaçao's location is perfect and China is interested."
China works on the bases of equality. Size doesn't matter here. Curaçao is small, China is big but still, they are equal. China's philosophy is 'if you progress, we progress' and once we realize this, Curaçao will see an economic growth unparalleled to anything else before.”