Caricom to expand presence to UAE, Saudi Arabia

The Caribbean Community (Caricom) is strengthening its ties with the Middle East as it now moves to establish a presence in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In exchange, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are also in the process of establishing their diplomatic presence in the region.
Chairman of Caricom and President Irfaan Ali on Monday opened the plenary of the 46th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of Caricom at the Georgetown Marriott, where he made this announcement.

President Ali meeting with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Adel Al-Jubeir

The Regular Meeting of the Caricom Heads of Government is attended by CARICOM Secretary General, Dr Carla Barnett, regional leaders and other representatives. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Adel Al-Jubeir and Minister of State for International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, Reem al Hashimy are also participating.
“The UAE is in the process of establishing their diplomatic presence in Caricom and they’re working with Caricom on having a Caricom house established in the UAE so that our diplomatic presence will be there also…Saudi Arabia is also offering the region a Caricom house in Saudi Arabia and we’re hoping to activate this and they’re also in the process of establishing their physical diplomatic presence in the region also,” President Ali informed.
This development builds upon the Caricom-Saudi Summit last November where several countries in the Caribbean walked away with financing for projects in a number of sectors.
That one-day conference saw joint statement from Caricom and the Saudi Arabian Government stated that the leaders committed to enhancing bilateral ties between the two Regions by exploring further cooperation in areas such as agriculture, tourism as well as trade and investments, among others.

President Irfaan Ali speaking during the Conference of Heads of Government at the Marriott Hotel

Among the discussions held was for the establishment of a US$25 million facility to accelerate food production and explore a hydroponics facility for the entire Region.
President Ali, who led that delegation, had said, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made available not only all their technical and ministerial resources, but their private sector resources and financing. Setting aside $2.5 billion for the development of the Region, approving a number of projects for different countries.”
Guyana is already benefitting from its ties with Saudi Arabia through the US$150 million loan agreement signed back in May with the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) to finance the “Infrastructural Development Works for the Housing Sector Project”, and the Construction of Wismar Bridge Project.
These partnerships align with the four pillars of Caricom, which spans economic integration, human and social development, foreign policy coordination and security cooperation.
Meanwhile, delegations from Ghana, Lesotho, the United Kingdom (UK), Canada, United States of America (US) and United Nations (UN) are also participating in the Heads of Government engagements.
This year’s Meeting will also discuss climate change and climate financing; regional security, including the situation in Haiti and border issues; regional transportation; financial matters, including replenishment of the Caricom Development Fund (CDF); global and hemispheric issues; reparations; and the 2024 International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup. (G12)