In Guyana, Jaishankar's proposal for the Caribbean: 'My PM is very clear that…'

Apr 22, 2023 01:01 PM IST

Jaishankar co-chaired the 4th India-CARICOM ministerial meeting with his Jamaican counterpart Kaminaj Smith here in Guyana's capital.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Friday underlined the pressing global issues, including Covid-19, climate events, debt and trade stress, and food and energy security during the fourth India-CARICOM ministerial meeting.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar receives a warm reception from Guyana Foreign Minister Hugh Todd (2L), in Georgetown on Friday.(Dr. S Jaishankar / Twitter)
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar receives a warm reception from Guyana Foreign Minister Hugh Todd (2L), in Georgetown on Friday.(Dr. S Jaishankar / Twitter)

"Covid, increasing intensity and frequency of climate events, the debt and trade stress situations that many of us find ourselves in and food and energy security concerns are really pressing issues where it is important for us to sit down and discuss," said Jaishankar, who co-chaired the meeting.

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India, which currently chairs the G20, is keen on supporting countries not on the table through the ‘Voice of Global South’ process, he added.

"This year we have the privilege of chairing the G20 and my PM is very clear that we (should) be there not just for ourselves but also for the countries who are not on the G20 table. Therefore, we did a round of consultations on what we call the Voice of Global South process," Jaishankar said.

The 'Voice of Global South' summit was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January as an important group of nations to collaborate on political, economic, social, environmental, cultural, and technical issues. The Summit was aimed at achieving “Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose” in line with PM Modi's vision to shape a positive G20 agenda through consultation with G20 countries and members of the global south.

At the India-CARICOM ministerial meeting, Jaishankar put forward a proposal for small and medium-scale enterprises in the Caribbean and suggested supporting individual projects of up to a value of a million dollars on a grant basis and creating a partner group in India to provide machinery, technology, and training.

"What we'd like to do is to create a partner group in India and see whether our capability which will include the supply of machinery, technology, training - if we can get really viable project offers from your side, we would be very happy to look at that," Jaishankar said.

He also highlighted the importance of health security and proposed a regional hub for low-cost generics from USFDA-approved plants in India. The minister explained that India has a domestic initiative for cost-effective generics, which could benefit low-income consumers globally.

"If you feel that is of interest, we are creating a system for low-cost generics to be available to your people. We would like to create a regional hub for that. All of these would come from USFDA-approved plants of which currently we have about 600 in India," he said.

Jaishankar emphasized India's willingness to support and partner with the countries in the CARICOM region and globally to tackle pressing global issues.

CARICOM is an intergovernmental organisation that is a political and economic union of 15 member states (14 nation-states and one dependency) throughout the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean.

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