The Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda has appointed businessman Brian Stuart-Young as its new Non-Resident Ambassador Designate to the People’s Republic of China. Prime Minister Gaston Browne made the announcement on Tuesday during his first official visit to China since being elected in June.
Stuart-Young, a Guyanese-born entrepreneur who has lived in Antigua since 1978, is currently Chairman and CEO of Global Bank of Commerce Ltd., which last year became the first Caribbean-based bank to become a member of China’s UnionPay International service.
As a longtime resident of Antigua, Bodog brand founder Calvin Ayre (pictured left) was among the first to offer his congratulations to Stuart-Young (on the right).
Browne said Stuart-Young’s financial and business background made him the ideal candidate to act as the “official point of contact” between Antigua and China. Stuart-Young’s immediate task over the next two months will be to oversee the establishment of Antigua’s first consulate in China. Stuart-Young will be officially sworn into his new office following his acceptance by the government in Beijing.
China is an increasingly important global business partner for Antigua. Shortly after Browne’s election, China’s Yida International Investment announced a deal to develop a $740m resort-casino project on Antigua’s Guiana Island and the Crump Peninsula. The project is the largest of its kind in the region, eclipsing the similarly Chinese-backed Baha Mar project in the Bahamas.
On Saturday, Browne announced that 12 major Chinese conglomerates had also expressed interest in doing business in Antigua. A few days before that, Browne announced that he had successfully negotiated a RMB 200m (US $32.5m) assistance package with China Premier Li Keqiang, including RMB 70m dedicated toward the implementation of future projects involving the two countries.