Jamaica joins promoters of bamboo, rattan

Updated: 2012-04-08 07:57

By Mike Peters (China Daily)

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 Jamaica joins promoters of bamboo, rattan

Jamaican Ambassador E. Courtenay Rattray (center) raises his country's flag to formalize its membership in INBAR. Mike Peters / China Daily

Jamaica's Ambassador to China E. Courtenay Rattray was the guest of honor on Thursday as the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan welcomed his country as its 38th member with a windblown flag-raising.

Coosje Hoogendoorn, director general of the Beijing-based INBAR, hosted representatives of 22 member countries as the organization celebrates its 15th anniversary. Speakers included Jiang Zehui, CPPCC vice-chairman, committee of population, resources and environment; Yin Hong, deputy minister of the China State Forestry Administration; and Munshi Faiz Ahmad, ambassador of Bangladesh,

Rattray noted that 1.5 billion people rely on bamboo and rattan resources to some degree every day. He said Jamaica is eager to develop its "nascent" bamboo industry as a means to alleviate poverty and manage natural resources sustainably.

INBAR promotes collaborating about and benefiting from bamboo and rattan both through job development and environmental conservation.

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As part of the Swedish foreign ministry's effort to promote products of the country beyond well-known industries such as autos (and Ikea), Sweden's deputy head of mission in Beijing, Jakob Kiefer, hosted a whisky and vodka tasting at his residence last week in the embassy compound.

Star attractions included Macmyra, Sweden's first single-malt whisky, which is looking for a distributor in China. "We would like to bring in two brands," says Robert Dykes, who was bartending on behalf of the Swedish Trade Council, "including our First Edition, because that blends very well with green tea and should be popular here."

Also being served up: the widely available Absolut vodka. "How many of you knew Absolut was Swedish before you got our invitation?" Kiefer quizzed the sippers.

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Danish Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen hosted a launch party at his embassy for The Unbeatable, a 480-page coffee-table style testimonial for the architectural, cultural, economic and political legacy of the Shanghai World Expo. That came a day after consuls general from several countries came to Shanghai for a similar book launch celebration at the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom on the Bund. More information at www.ExpoTheUnbeatable.com.

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British Ambassador Sebastian Wood co-hosted an event with the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) recently to celebrate 40 years of ambassadorial relations between the UK and China.

The program, held at the Peace Palace in the Old Legation area of Beijing, highlighted UK-China links between young people, with a special photo exhibition showcasing young people involved in both the Beijing 2008 and the London 2012 Olympics. Five young Olympians from the Chinese synchronized swimming team were among the guests.

More than 200 guests were welcomed by Wood and CPAFFC's vice-president Li Jianping, including three former Chinese ambassadors to the UK - Ma Zhengang, Jiang Enzhu and Ma Yuzhen - and Deputy Minister Xie Hangsheng from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who was minister at the Chinese embassy in London from 2000 to 2002.

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Six top Shanghai engineering students are back from five days in Denmark, the Danish embassy reports, after winning the trip in an SAS competition, launched by Innovation Center Denmark, Shanghai in cooperation with SAS - Scandinavian Airlines, Copenhagen Capacity and the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education. The students visited four companies doing business in China and two highly ranked universities as they explored opportunities to pursue Danish degrees and careers.

"In Denmark working hard is not enough," Hu Minfei says, master student in Energy Engineering at Shanghai Jiaotong University. "Here you have to be critical, creative, innovative, willing to discuss, independent, social and ready for teamwork."

Send embassy and consulate news to michaelpeters@chinadaily.com.cn.

 Jamaica joins promoters of bamboo, rattan

Busy Chinese students take time to visit the famous Little Mermaid statue during their stay in Denmark. Provided to China Daily

(China Daily 04/08/2012 page5)