Tuesday, 16th July 2024

PM Gaston Browne expects productive First CARICOM Saudi Arabia Summit

PM Gaston Browne departed from V.C. Bird International Airport on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, for Riyadh.

Wednesday, 15th November 2023

PM Gaston Browne with officials
St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda: Prime Minister Gaston Browne expects a productive and successful meeting as he is going to lead an Antigua and Barbuda delegation to the First Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on November 16, 2023, with an Investment Forum on November 17, 2023. PM Gaston Browne departed from V.C. Bird International Airport on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, for Riyadh. Browne left the airport with Works and Housing Minister - Maria Browne, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance - Dwayne George, Prime Minister of Grenada - Dickon Mitchell, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis - Dr Terrance Drew and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia - Philip Pierre.

After arriving at Riyadh, the ministers will join other CARICOM heads, who will actively engage with His Majesty Salman bin Abdulaziz AI Saud and other government officials on issues of mutual importance at the bilateral, inter-regional and global levels.

The summit will include significant topics for the deep discussions designed to support the sustainability of the Community’s development objectives through the coordinated use of financial, technical and human resources to promote economic and social development among Member States, World Expo 2023.

Strengthening relations between CARICOM and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), Agriculture and Food Security, Transportation, Renewable Energy and Climate Change and Finance, Tourism, Investment, Education and Health will also be part of the discussions.

The ceremony will begin on Thursday, November 16, 2023 and will proceed with a hearing address from His Majesty Salman bin Abdulaziz AI Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and King of Saudi Arabia, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz AI Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica - Roosevelt Skerrit and Chair of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM and Secretary General of the Caribbean Community - Dr Carla Barnett.

[caption id="attachment_62582" align="aligncenter" width="543"]PM Gaston Browne while interacting with other officials at the gathering PM Gaston Browne while interacting with other officials at the gathering[/caption]

Before leaving the Airport, the Prime Minister stated that he plans to establish levels of cooperation with Saudi Arabia in a wide range of areas, as investment is paramount importance for CARICOM and Antigua and Barbuda in dwelling economic growth, job creation and building a robust and resilient economy.

He emphasised on collaborating with Saudi Arabia for the issues such as public health infrastructure development, improving health delivery systems and improving quality basic education, lifelong learning and technical and vocational education and training.

The PM aims to facilitate knowledge exchange and cultural understanding scholarship programme for Antigua and Barbuda students to pursue degree in Saudi Arabia. He quotes -

“We also believe that we can develop academic collaboration and research initiatives through teacher exchanges and educational infrastructure development.” PM Browne majorly included the point that in the area of health, they believe that they can collaborate on healthcare infrastructure development with the construction and upgrading of clinics, laboratories and medical treatment facilities, advancing medical training opportunities, education and advancing electronic health records management.

He will also collaborate in the areas of technologies fpr screening, early detection and treatment of NCDs including diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Other CARICOM countries are expected to cooperate in similar areas.

As per the information, the two day event also consider Ambassadors Colin Murdoch, Gilbert Boustany, Sami AI Mufleh, Jeffrey Hadeed and Boris Latour. The trip is sponsored by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Prime Minister will arrive back on Saturday with other members of the Antigua and Barbuda. In the absence of Browne, Attorney General Sir Steadroy Cutie Benjamin will serve as the Acting Prime Minister.