One of my colleagues described the recent visit by a team of Journalists from Grenada to the People’s Republic of China as fabulous.
Being a part of the mission, while I endorse fully his sentiments, I also wish to add, that it was a breathtaking experience, one that would remain with me for the rest of my life and therefore on my own behalf and that of the other members of the team, I wish to thank the Media Workers of Grenada and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Grenada for making it happen.
The seven member delegation left Grenada on November 15th and returned a week later on the 22nd. One would understand from the outset, that having flown for just about nineteen hours to get to China, my biggest disappointments from that trip would have of course been the length of stay there. It was definitely too short, “just my feeling.” The simple reason being, having just gotten acclimatized, it was time to prepare for the long flight back, what a pity, but that’s the way it is, and one just has to be grateful for small mercies.
Nevertheless, despite the length of the tour; and not taking anything away from the social side of the China experience, which included climbing the Great Wall of China, or viewing the Shanghai skylines at night, a visit to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Jing ‘an Sculpture Park, and Shanghai Museum, one cannot help, but applaud the thoroughness that went into the planning and equally, the execution of the mission on all fronts, it was indeed remarkable.
The professional approach of the tour guides/ translators,bus drivers, and others is worthy of emulation, and once again, I must say hats off.
The objective of the tour was basically two fold, one, affording media practitioners an opportunity to meet with investors and potential investors some of whom are presently operating in Grenada, view their operation in real time, and explore possible stronger bonds, between Grenada and those investors.
The second component of the mission was to meet with some of the leading media houses in the People’s Republic of China, learn from them how media operates in China, challenges faced, and how best we can benefit from their experience to improve our own operations here in Grenada.
From where I sit, I am satisfied that both objectives were met, and the team can take a bow, having given a good account of themselves.
As it relates to investors, theteam met with the “China Harbour Engineering Company” a well established construction company operating in Grenada, responsible for several projects in Grenada including the St Mark’s Flood Mitigation Project. The team also met and held discussions with China State Construction Company the team tasked with the responsibility of constructing the Grenada National Athletic and Football Stadium.
The media related aspect of the tour took us to China International Publishing Group, Shanghai United Media Group, The Division Director of the State Council Information Office in Beijing, and the Press Relationship Department in the Information Office of Shanghai Municipality.
What was interesting to note, was that despite the size of those media operations in China, some of the challenges faced by media practitioners in Grenada and China are in most cases similar, what was also interesting to note though, is how Chinese journalists get around their challenges to get the information out to their various readers and listeners. Just as practitioners operating out of small states like ours, this information can only serve to make us better.
The highlight of my visit was the high value the Chinese people place on their history. At almost every aspect of the tours, one was able to make that connection, its like showing “where we are now, how we got here, and who was responsible for getting us here,” and therefore I want to pour my heart out to the Chinese people, too many times we tend to ignore the contribution of those who toil in the vineyard to get us where we are today.
Another interesting observation came out of the visit to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre, where the entire city of Shanghai was displayed in one space, again, the old Shanghai, the present Shanghai and most importantly, included was a projection plan of what Shanghai is likely to be ten years from now; the number of underground tunnels, the types of vehicles likely to be used. This is excellent, hats off to the people from the People’s Republic of China and we are definitely not too small to take a page from their book.