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‘Open to supporting small & medium-scale projects of upto $1 million’: EAM Jaishankar at India-CARICOM meet

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar who co-chaired the fourth India-CARICOM ministerial meeting Saturday in Georgetown, Guyana, emphasised the focus on energy, particularly renewable energy, and said it was their “collective interest”.

“My Prime Minister is very clear that we are there not just for ourselves but also for the countries who are not on the G20 table,” the minister said about India’s G-20 presidency, adding, “Therefore, we did a round of consultations on what we call the Voice of Global South process.”

Jaishankar delivered the remarks during the opening ceremony of the meeting with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, which include 15 member nations and five associate members. He reached Guyana Friday on a nine-day trip to attend the meet and hold several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit.

Following the CARICOM-India meeting, CARICOM secretariat tweeted Saturday, “Foreign Ministers from CARICOM and India met in Guyana today in another step towards strengthening relations. Solidarity and support from India contribute towards regional integration objectives including agriculture, ICT, climate change and disaster risk management.”

Jaishankar also put forward a proposal offering support for individual projects in the field of small and medium enterprises.

“Today, I’d like to put forward for your collective consideration a proposal in the field of small & medium scale enterprises. We would be open to supporting on a grant basis, individual projects of up to a value of a million dollars & we would solicit proposals from you”, he said.

The foreign minister added that India looked forward to viable projects coming its way. “What we would like to do is to create a partner group in India & see whether with our capability, which will include the supply of machinery, technology and training, we can get really viable project offers from your side, we would be very happy to look at that.”

On the sidelines of the summit, Jaishankar met his counterparts from Suriname Albert Ramdin, Dr. Denzil Douglas from St. Kitts and Nevis, Joseph Andall from Grenada, Barbados foreign minister Kerrie Symmonds, Kamina Johnson Smith from Jamaica, Dr. Amery Browne from Trinidad and Tobago and Keisal Peters from St. Vincent and Grenadines. Among the other dignitaries, he met Bahamas Parliamentary Secretary Jamahl Strachen.

According to CARICOM’s website, stretching from The Bahamas in the north to Suriname and Guyana in South America, CARICOM comprises states that are considered developing countries, and except for Belize, in Central America and Guyana and Suriname in South America, all members and associate members are island states.

The 15 member states of CARICOM include Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago. Whereas five associate members are Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands

(Edited by Richa Mishra)

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Source: The Print

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