14 June 2013
A Chinese firm has pledged to hire locals if it wins infrastructure projects in Trinidad and Tobago.
Challenged by local media, vice president of state-owned China Harbour Engineering Company, Lin Yichong, said: "Why we want to localise is very simple, because if you bring people there, you have to cover their travel, lodging, their food. But if you hire locally, all those problems disappear."
His company is pursuing four different infrastructure projects in the Caribbean country.
Asked by journalists about Trinidadian labour union concerns over Chinese workers used on a previous major construction project, Mr Lin admitted it was not always practical to employ non-Chinese workers.
"Even (though) you pay them enough, they don’t want (to) work," he said. "So if the time schedule is very tight, sometimes we have to negotiate. They want us to finish the job in time, if they ask us to hire more people, local people, we cannot be on time."