Bilateral Meeting between Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs and His Excellency Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, Ambassador of India to Guatemala

Senator the Honourable Dr. Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago met with His Excellency Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, Ambassador of the Republic of India to Guatemala on 10th May, 2023. The Meeting was held in the margins of the 28th Ordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and the Ninth ACS Summit being held in Antigua, Guatemala over the period 11th – 12th May, 2023.

In recognition of the strong historical and cultural ties shared between Trinidad and Tobago and India, and the presence of both officials at the Ninth ACS Summit, the opportunity was seized to highlight matters of mutual interest at the bilateral level. In this regard, it was acknowledged that despite geographical distance, the relationship between India and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the countries in the Caribbean and Latin America is robust and continues to deepen.

During the meeting, Minister Browne commended India for its global influence on issues such as climate change, United Nations reform and economic development, as well as its use of technology to facilitate national transformation. In this connection, Minister Browne informed that digital transformation has been highlighted as a priority area for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. The Minister advised that this country has initiated talks with the Foreign Ministry in India for technical assistance and cooperation in ICTs. Notably, a request has been made for technical expert exchanges to facilitate capacity building, in furtherance of the digital transformation agenda in Trinidad and Tobago.

Minister Browne also reiterated Trinidad and Tobago’s interest in recruiting midwives from India to be employed in the public healthcare system.

Further, recognising that India is the ancestral home to a significant cross-section of the Trinidad and Tobago population and noting that nationals of Trinidad and Tobago holding Ordinary passports require a visa to enter India, Minister Browne proposed the negotiation of an Agreement to facilitate visa-free travel between the two countries.

Minister Browne and Dr. Mohapatra expressed a keen interest in further strengthening the bilateral relationship and committed to taking the necessary measures in pursuit of the matters discussed.

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