The Rt. Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas participates in the fourth CARICOM-India Ministerial Meeting in Georgetown Guyana
Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) – On Friday April 21st, 2023, Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Economic Development and Investment, The Right Honourable Dr. Denzil L. Douglas participated in the fourth CARICOM-India Ministerial Meeting in Georgetown Guyana. The meeting provided an opportunity for Foreign Ministers of CARICOM to engage in dialogue with His Excellency Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India.
It was highlighted that CARICOM and India’s dynamic friendship has facilitated a strong commitment to leveraging the strategic partnership for further collaboration for mutual benefit, particularly in a time of increasing global complexities. During this forum CARICOM Foreign Ministers shared candidly with their Indian counterpart on two overarching themes of Sectoral Cooperation and Regional/ Neighbourhoods.
In his remarks, Dr. S. Jaishankar, reminded the gathering that “there is much that binds us together in history and geography and where that fails … there is cricket”. His Excellency Jaishankar emphasised the importance of CARICOM member countries and India working together to address the pressing issues of both our regions including food production and security, poverty and development. His Excellency further highlighted India’s support for countries not part of the G20 through its engagement in its global-south initiative, and in particular for the CARICOM region. The Indian Foreign Minister also mentioned the hosting of a joint commission later this year on capacity building, disaster management and resilience and development cooperation. In this regard, he submitted for consideration by CARICOM, a proposal for financial support valued at US 1 million towards Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Among the other areas stressed by His Excellency Dr. Jaishankar was the importance of health security and accessing cost-effective pharmaceuticals in improving and advancing the health agenda. India continues to lead in this field and is open to collaborating with the region through the creation of a fund to access very affordable generic drugs and medicine.
CARICOM Ministers responded frankly to Dr. Jaishankar’s presentation on topics of major interest to the Region inter alia trade and economy, agriculture and food Security, health and Pharma, Energy, ICT and eGovernance, development, Culture and Capacity Building, Climate Change/ Disaster Resilience and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reforms.