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Oct 25, 2017

Antigua Minister Looks for Trade and Infrastructure Help at Summit

Even before the arrival of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, the official delegations including heads of states from CARICOM and the respective foreign ministers, met at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza in two sessions this morning, ahead of the CARICOM-Mexico Summit. But in the case of Antigua and Barbuda, Prime Minister Gaston Browne was unable to make the regional event; the delegation was headed by Minister of Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, E.P. Chet Greene. Technical cooperation and trade and investment as well as infrastructural development in the aftermath of recent hurricanes were of particular interest to Greene.

 

E.P. Chet Greene

E.P. Chet Greene, Minister of Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs

“In both occasions, I must say that the discussions were rather fruitful. The exchanges, the ideas being put to the table all speak to the improving of the relations between CARICOM and Mexico—deepening, strengthening of relations of course. The ultimate objective is improving the lives of the Caribbean people.”

 

Duane Moody

“According to the agenda, infrastructural development as well as climate change and I believe technical cooperation…those were some of the main topics there. What is your government look at really to take advantage of?”

 

E.P. Chet Greene

“Well all the topics on the agenda are concerns and interests the Government of Antigua and Barbuda because they really represent the Caribbean vision, the Caribbean way forward. But I think if we are talking about climate change and mitigation and all that January of this year, we were talking theories, we are talking it in the wake of two of the most powerful storms to have hit the region by way of hurricanes Irma and Maria. And so the discuss is no longer theory; it is the reality of the lives that are affecting and the rebuilding needs of Caribbean civilization. And if you put that in a broader context, we are also looking at the entire region and how do we now plan going forward. How do we secure financing to rebuild from the cyclical arrangement because it is a vicious cycle. We placed on the record our profound and abiding appreciation and gratitude for the role that Mexico has played and continues to play with respect to being an advocate for Caribbean countries in the international forum to which we do not have immediate and direct access. So we really look forward to the role Mexico will play on our behalf and the bilateral as well. The CARICOM/Mexico relations and the filter down into each island states with respect to the trade opportunities. They’ve developed a risk mitigation program which is very interesting.”

 

The Caribbean delegations depart Belize on Thursday.

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