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Jaishankar meets Guyana’s Vice President stepping up outreach to diaspora

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with Guyana's Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo in New Delhi (Image courtesy: Twitter/@DrSJaishankar)

 External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, on Tuesday, met Guyana’s Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo and discussed the contemporary partnership in trade, energy, agriculture, skills and people-to-people ties.

Taking to Twitter, Jaishankar said, “Delighted to meet Bharrat Jagdeo, Vice President of Guyana during his India visit. Discussed our historical relationship and greater opportunities in contemporary partnership, especially in trade, energy, agriculture, skills and people-to-people ties.” Jagdeo arrived in India on Monday to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

“Warm welcome to Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana on his arrival in India. The visit will further strengthen India-Guyana bilateral cooperation and people-to-people linkages,” tweeted the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

Notably, Guyanese President Mohamed Irfaan Ali was the chief guest of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh on January 10.

The Convention is the flagship event of the Union government that provides an important platform to engage and connect with overseas Indians and enable the diaspora to interact with each other.

The theme for this year’s PBD Convention was ‘Diaspora: Reliable partners for India’s progress in Amrit Kaal.’ Over 3,500 diaspora members from nearly 70 countries registered for the PBD Convention.

Earlier in July 2022, then President Ramnath Kovind visited the CARICOM nation, the first of a kind visit to these nations by an Indian President.

CARICOM, Caribbean Community and Common Market, which is known as the Caribbean Community, was established on 4th July 1973 by the Treaty of Chaguaramas.

CARICOM has 15 members – Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Recent trends have shown that there is a greater potential for economic links through trade.

There is no doubt that China already plays a major economic role in the Caribbean, but with its growing middle-class India’s population is likely to surpass that of China by 2030 and it can provide a large market.

The major export destinations of India and imports from the region to India are the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, Guyana, and Barbados.

India exports mostly pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, machinery and instruments to CARICOM. Crude petroleum, gold, metalliferous ores and scrap are major items that India imports from CARICOM.

For India, acquiring and renovating of hotels in the CARICOM region, which is a very popular tourist destination is bound to be fruitful. Investments in popular Indian style Ayurveda/ Yoga.

Most Guyanese, are descendants of Indians who were brought to the Caribbean starting in 1838 as contract labourers on sugar plantations after slavery was outlawed in the region’s British colonies.