India’s External Affairs Minister arrives today for official visit

India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is visiting Guyana for the first time today on an official trip.
“We [have been] working very assiduously over the past few years where we are actively engaging with Guyana from India, working on many new projects [and] building a strong partnership,” India’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr KJ Srinivasa said during a pre-arrival press conference on Wednesday.

India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

During Jaishankar’s three-and-a-half-day visit, he will convene with Foreign Ministers from some 13 of the 15 Caribbean Community (Caricom) Member States during a joint meeting as well as one-on-one bilateral discussions.
He will also engage with President Dr Irfaan Ali; Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo; Prime Minister, Brigadier (Retired) Mark Phillips and Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir.
The External Affairs Minister will be co-chairing a joint commission meeting between the two countries to engage with representatives from eight prominent sectors: agriculture; infrastructure; defence; health and pharmaceuticals; technology and innovation; energy – including renewable energy; human resources and capacity building; and ayurveda and wellness.
On Sunday, Jaishankar will be at the inauguration of the passenger ferry built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd in collaboration with the Government of Guyana.
The Minister’s visit also includes a business roundtable discussion with over 80 leading Guyanese companies, a site visit to the East Coast-East Bank bypass road, and visits to the Non-Aligned Monument, Mahatma Gandhi Monument and the Independence Monument where he will pay tribute and lay wreaths; a trip to Kaieteur Falls and lastly, a community reception with members of the Indian Diaspora and Indian passport holders.
This visit by Jaishankar follows the official visits to India by President Ali and Vice President Jagdeo in February, which saw discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on energy cooperation, infrastructure development, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, technology and innovation, and defence cooperation.
“We are following up on various discussions which happened during the high-level visits in January and February. India and the growing friendship with Guyana have been always [maintained] with mutual respect and cooperation,” Srinivasa said. “We accept that we are equal partners in business, non-interference in internal affairs, and respect for territorial integrity.”
As the current chair of the intergovernmental forum G20, India is working across the developing world and has involved Guyana previously for input especially on food security given the country’s leading position within Caricom on reducing food imports by 25 per cent by 2025, Srinivasa added.
As part of his Latin American tour, Jaishankar will also be visiting Panama, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.