By Yoshita Singh :
NEW YORK, PRIME Minister Narendra Modi announced a USD 14-million grant for community development projects in a grouping of Caribbean nations and another USD 150 million Line of Credit for solar, renewable energy and climate-change related works as he hosted the first ever India-Caricom leaders’ summit here. “India’s historic and warm relations with the countries of the Caribbean witnessed a new momentum” in the meeting held on Wednesday, an official press release said. St Lucia Prime Minister and current CARICOM Chairman Allen Chastenet co-chaired the meeting held on the margins of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. Prime Minister Modi announced a grant of USD 14 million for community development works in the CARICOM and another USD 150 million Line of Credit for solar, renewable energy and climate-change related projects, the press release stated.
He also announced the setting up of the Regional Centre for Excellence in Information Technology in Guyana’s Georgetown and the Regional Vocational Training Centre in Belize by upgrading the existing India-funded centres in these two countries. The Caribbean community, also known as CARICOM, is a grouping of 15 member states and five associate members. Caricom countries came together in 1973 to form an economic and political community that works jointly to shape policies for the region and encourages economic growth and trade.
Wednesday’s meeting was attended by top leadership and representatives from Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago. The meeting was the first-ever meeting of Modi with CARICOM leaders in a regional format and highlighted the steadily intensifying relations between India and partner countries of the Caribbean, both bilaterally as well as regionally.