Seminar on entrepreneurship, post-Irma recovery gives insight to China’s technology | THE DAILY HERALD

SIMPSON BAY–Opening speeches and presentations on technology and materials highlighted the opening of the Seminar on Entrepreneurship, Post-Disaster Recovery and Industrial Upgrading at Simpson Bay Resort on Friday afternoon.

The event is being hosted by the Promotion Association of Global Youth Innovative Leaders Community PILC, Caribbean-China People Foundation (CCPF) and Beijing International Exchange Association for Sustainable Development BJ-SDC.

It has also received strong support from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Willemstad, Curaçao, and the organising committee of the fourth China College Students “Internet +” Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition. The opening seminar preceded today’s 2018 competition, also being held in the resort.

There were four keynote speakers; Executive Deputy Chairman of the Promotion Association of Global Youth Innovative Leaders Community Lei Zhu; Sandra Cheung of Tzu Chi Foundation in St. Maarten; Shuting Construction Company General Manager David Hsu; and Inspur Group Senior Vice President and General Manager for Latin America Cesar Gao.

Opening remarks were given by Caribbean-China People Foundation Executive Chairman Cengiz Kukuc and People’s Republic of China Vice-Consul in Curaçao Sun Li.

There were some interesting presentations, particularly the Inspur Cloud Computing total solution provider and the presentation on prefabricated modular construction double-sided panels that take the place of traditional cement blocks. The extremely durable, earthquake resistant material is currently being used in the reconstruction of Sonesta Maho Resort.

Cheung talked of how Tzu Chi Foundation has helped in the post-Irma recovery. She said Tzu Chi had won an innovation award for finding a way to recycle plastic. A polo shirt and a blanket made from plastic were passed around for attendees to see and feel.

There were other remarks by former Finance Minister for St. Maarten Richard F. Gibson Sr., Tallahassee-St. Maarten Foundation Director Arthur Lugisse and of Caribtimesxm N.V. Managing Director Clifford Ellis. All three praised their hosts’ initiative for holding the event.

Gibson in his remarks welcomed the ideas and technology the Chinese hosts are bringing to St. Maarten.

“You can talk about the ideas but you also have to see how they can be materialised, and they have done that too by organizing for Bank of China representatives to come here,” he told The Daily Herald. “Not only is it about building smarter and stronger, but making it a reality by bringing financing to the table. The circle is complete as far as that is concerned. Not only do they bring new technology, but also affordability. They do things cheaper than everyone else.”

Gibson, who noted the Pearl of China is still on the table, added he was impressed by the Inspur software presentation, noting the technology would do away with antiquated systems such as requiring arriving passengers to fill out tourist cards, and other mundane administrative tasks.

“It can track who is abiding by the law and who isn’t. And in this age of heightened security it becomes more important. I think the world is moving in this direction,” he said.

NAGICO Insurances Chairman Imran McSood Amjad agreed with Gibson on the Inspur presentation.

“It’s a great solution for a lot of St. Maarten’s problems; tax evasion, tax compliance, immigration control, identification of people. People like me are paying millions in taxes every year, and other people pay nothing. It tracks and documents everything. Imagine having one billion contracts with Microsoft, Alibaba and so on. I think it’s amazing. Our government should seriously look into this programme, as I believe many countries are using it,” McSood said.

Vice-Consul Sun Li explained that the seminar leads into Saturday’s entrepreneur competition, a miniscule version of the massive student entrepreneur competition held in China, now in its fourth year.

“It’s mainly about the exchange of views and ideas by young entrepreneurs that become the source of development and that’s very important, and those views are also crucial to the development of the local country and regions, as well as international cooperation and cooperation between St. Maarten and China. The Consulate encourages exchange and cooperation. 2.6 million students register for this competition at three levels; university level, provincial level and national level. Some 500,000 projects are presented.

“In St. Maarten it’s a new exploration, but important for exchange and cooperation between the two countries. Between 10 and 15 teams will be taking part in the competition from St. Maarten and other islands.”

He said youth development is a key concept of the event. “China pays a lot of attention to the youth. As our president pointed out, a nation can only prosper when the youth is ripe. They are our future, for their own country and for international cooperation.

“Secondly, innovation and new ideas are very important. It’s crucial for China’s economic development. The four new emerging economies now in China are high-speed trains, electronic payments, bicycle share and on-line shopping.

“China is a very urban country now and open to the world. Reforms in the last four decades have led to China’s rapid economic growth. In that time the annual average GDP [gross domestic product – Ed.] growth has been 9.5 per cent. It brings China from a once poor country to the world’s second largest economy.”

Source: The Daily Herald