Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the leaders of the Caribbean Community and Common Market in the first-ever India-Caricom summit, with a focus on fighting climate change and increasing India's participation with the grouping. Just ahead of the India-Caricom Leaders' Meeting on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly Session, Modi said Wednesday it is an important initiative and he thanked the participants for attending it.
In a press release, the government said that PM Modi reiterated India’s firm commitment to strengthen its political, economic and cultural engagement with CARICOM. He also recalled the presence of more than a million-strong Indian diaspora as a vibrant and enduring link of friendship with the Caribbean.
He said he expects the discussion during the meeting takes into consideration past experiences, present requirements and the aspirations of the future. He outlined the focus of the meeting: fighting climate change and increasing India's participation with the Caricom nations. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted a picture of the Prime Minister with the leaders or representatives of the Caribbean countries attending the meeting.
The meeting deliberated on the strengthening the political and institutional dialogue processes, boosting economic cooperation, increasing trade and investment and fostering greater and more robust people-to-people relations. PM Modi also laid emphasis on partnering with CARICOM countries in capacity building, development assistance and cooperation in disaster management and resilience.
PM Modi announced a USD 14 million grant for community development projects in the CARICOM and another 150 million Line of Credit for solar, renewable energy and climate- change related projects. He also announced the setting up of the Regional Center for Excellence in Information Technology in Georgetown, Guyana and the Regional Vocational Training Center in Belize by upgrading the existing India-funded centers in these countries.
"Underscoring our historic & warm ties with Caribbean countries, PM @narendramodi is hosting the India-Caricom Leaders' Meeting on the margins of #UNGA. Leaders or the representatives of 14 Caribbean countries attending," Kumar tweeted.
Leaders 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 attended the summit.
Earlier in the day, Modi had meetings with Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, Boeing Defense, Space & Security CEO Leanne Caret. Modi had separate meetings with Marriott Hotels President & CEO Arne Sorenson, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Walmart President & CEO Douglas McMillon & Chairman & CEO of Coca Cola James Quincey.