New Delhi, Jan 30: In a bid to enhance New Delhi’s ties with the Caribbean region, India and Guya on Tuesday signed three agreements, including on renewable energy and cultural exchange, following bilateral talks between Exterl Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Second Vice President and Foreign Minister of Guya Carl B. Greenidge here.
“Three memorandums of understanding (MoUs), mely, renewable energy, cultural exchange programme and framework agreement on Intertiol Solar Alliance (ISA) were signed,” the Exterl Affairs Ministry said in a statement following the meeting. “Guyanese delegation also presented the Instrument of Ratification of the Intertiol Solar Alliance,” it stated.
The India-initiated ISA, launched at the UN Conference of Parties (CoP) climate summit in Paris on November 30, 2015, by Prime Minister rendra Modi and then French President Francois Hollande, is conceived as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collaborate on dealing with the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach. It is open to all 121 prospective member countries falling between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. According to the Exterl Affairs Ministry statement, Sushma Swaraj, during the meeting, referred to the historical and multifaceted ties between the two sides.
“The subsequent discussions focused on further strengthening India-Guya bilateral relations, through cooperation in capacity building, promotion of business and trade, enhancement of people to people contact, cooperation on pharmaceuticals, sharing India’s experience in information technology by setting up IT centres of excellence in Georgetown,” the statement said. Bilateral trade between India and Guya stood at $34.58 million in 2016-17.
India has done some high-visibility projects under line of credit (LoC) in Guya, including a cricket stadium, traffic lights in capital Georgetown and supply of 14 irrigation draige pumps. An LoC of $17.50 million for modernisation of three primary health centres has been approved by the Indian government.
Guya is also home to a large number of people of Indian origin, comprising nearly 40 per cent of the country’s total population of around 738,000. Most of them are descendants of indentured labour taken from India in the 19th century and early 20th century to work in sugarcane plantations. (IANS)