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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, second left, his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi and other members of Gonsalves' delegation.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, second left, his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi and other members of Gonsalves’ delegation.
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The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has signed three agreements with its Indian counterpart during Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves’ recent visit to the subcontinent.

Gonsalves travelled to India on Sept. 9 for a five-day visit, during which he co-chaired the high-level roundtable discussion on “Land, climate change and renewable energy” during the 14th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

During the trip, Gonsalves also met With India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Gonsalves told a press conference in Kingstown on Tuesday that during the visit he also met with the foreign minister of India.

Cenio Lewis, Kingstown’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom and non-resident high commissioner to India, who was part of Gonsalves’ delegation, signed an agreement addressing the matter of the exemption of visa requirement for holders of diplomatic and official passports to facilitate the ease of doing business between officials and diplomats.

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Senator Luke Browne, SVG’s minister of Health, signed a memorandum on cooperation in the field of traditional systems of medicine.

And Gonsalves signed the framework agreement on the establishment of International Solar Alliance, which has nearly 80 members.

The prime minister’s delegation also included Fitzgerald Providence, chief forestry officer and focal point to the UNCCD and Cheryl Rodriguez, representing the Indian Heritage Foundation in SVG.

Gonsalves said there are three other agreements that Kingstown and New Delhi are working on and will sign shortly, including cooperation in the field of health and medicine, and a memorandum of understanding on the setting up of an information technology centre of excellence at Diamond.

Gonsalves noted that India is well known for its research work in information communication technology.

“India is a phenomenal country, you know. I just want the whole of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to realise this, that it is a growing giant just as in the Caribbean, Guyana is a growing giant.”

He said that “policies, therefore, have to be attuned, accordingly and our people must see the importance.”

The prime minister said there is a draft agreement on a cultural exchange programme.

India had contributed a US$1.3 grant for upgrading SVG’s arrowroot industry.

Gonsalves said he and Modi spoke about exchanges in education and training and health, ICT and culture, enhancing their work in international relations.

On the issue of climate change and land degradation, India will send some experts to help SVG because they have a strong programme in this regard.

The leaders also discussed the possibility of establishing a mission in New Delhi.

“We are looking at how we can keep it very cheap. Early discussions — because paying the staff, an ambassador and a minister counsellor, is not really the big burden. It’s the cost of office space and housing, those sorts of things. There is a way in which we can address those,” the prime minister said.

He said he discussed with Modi, assistance to the Bahamas and India` has given US$1 million to the hurricane-affected nation.

Modi and CARICOM will meet next week in New York, where a range of matters will be discussed, Gonsalves said.

“I made some suggestions to him. I don’t want to speak on those suggestions because I would wait to see whether he took them on board and had them incorporated into his own approach,” Gonsalves said, adding that he and Modi have a very good relationship.

13 replies on “SVG, India sign agreements, explore deepening ties”

  1. Even turned sideways he is twice as wide as anyone else in the picture.

    India is a relatively poor country who receive massive cash aid from the US, UN, EU, Germany, Japan, and the UK., to mention but a few. They also receive a massive amount from the Swiss based Global Fund.

    They need help at the UN because Pakistan has reported them for aggression and international crimes.

    I just hope this is not further SVG UN votes for scrounge rewards.

    Whatever it is SVG would have profited more by staying at home and if these aspects of awarded help from India were genuine they could have been attended to in our offices at the UN. I shudder to think how much all this cost, carting all the extra baggage by way of Gonsalves hand holders to India.

    India may well be asking SVG for aid soon. They have announced buying S-400 missile defence systems from Russia. If they do that it is most likely that the aid they get from the NATO member countries will be cut and they will get nothing.

  2. Why are we having so much ties to these Heathen country Christian st Vincent and the grenadine please wake up to what is happening here how come we are not being join to the other Christian Nation where Jesus chris Jehovah is there God please think . this spiritual battle is real we in the end times the book of révélation is coming to pass.

    1. David just about every conflict in the world is something to do with religion.

      We really do not want to stoke the fire in that aspect, as such your comments are out of order.

      Christianity is a disputed religion by more than half the world, why do you think you are right and they are wrong? Only 31.6% of the world are Christians.

      Many people in the world consider Jesus Christ as a fraud and conman.

  3. Wish we had a Prime Minister JOLLY like that of Narendra Modi who has transformed the Indian economy into one the world now respects in the short few years he has been in power.

    A super power in the making Jolly! Time for that review Jolly dear. In just five and a half years it is now the sixth in the world and refusing all “FOREIGN AID” that the previous ruling “family dynasty” had encouraged.

  4. Instead of transforming our economy for the better over the past nineteen years, the Gonsalves family regime has persisted in just grubby and shameful begging abroad for our Income Support.

    India for its part under its new leader Narendra Modi is now the sixth biggest economy in the entire world.

    See here the World’s TOP TEN LARGEST ECONOMIES

    So instead of the Ralph Gonsalves regime just continually keep begging the world for INCOME SUPPORT for SVG, perhaps he and his team needs ask India’s new Prime Minister, and new visionary leader Narendra Modi, for his ideas as to how to transform SVG from this beggar nation, to one that would be buzzing with hope and prosperity for our out of work masses, who daily struggle day after to put food on empty tables.

  5. Ralph Gonsalves should have taken a little economic advice from the Indian Prime Minister while he was visiting that country, instead of the gross Marxist directions that he usually gets from President Maduro’s Marxist regime of Venezuela. Unworkable Marxist advice that has since destroyed the Venezuelan economy as it has done with ours.

    Marxist finds no difficulty in denying God, especially when relying on the dictum of Karl Marx.
    Under Marxist regimes, TAX Rates has the known damaging effect of curbing incentives and destroying once thriving economies. The USSR, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea to name a few.

    However Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister of India, ignoring such Marxist high tax strategy recently, sprung a surprises on her country, this soon after Ralph Gonsalves departed India. She surprised her country with a $20 Billion Tax Cut Stimulus; Stocks in the country soared as a result.

    This $20 billion tax cut, is taking the tax rate for companies in India to one of the lowest in Asia.
    “Domestic companies will pay 22% tax on their income from April 1, 2019, versus 30% previously, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.”

    “In a mini-Budget of sorts, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on September 20 announced major changes in corporate income tax rates to revive growth in the broader economy” of India.

    What a profound difference in economic approach there in India by its Government, than what we here have come to expect from the Gonsalves regime now governing us. She opting for a LOW TAX Economy over and above a High Tax one. When therefore will we too here in SVG ever get some TAX CUTS, in order to take the strain off the suffering peoples of SVG, encourage industry, create Jobs and bring prosperity to our small nation.

    1. James you are of course absolutely right, what I am trying to show really is that Gonsalves is selling our UN vote to Modi. India needs all the support they can get at the UN to try and ensure they are not sanctioned.

  6. Utter rubbish Jolly, There is always two sides to every story. Article 370 and Article 35A was never intended to be permanent and the same had caused much problems for the people of India by Pakistan’s cross border exploitation of terror gangs during the past 70 years, even paying the stone throwers. The revocation was passed with much support by the Indian Parliament and the people of India.

    PM Modie hails 370 revocation; slams Pak terror with Trump in audience

    Donald Trump says India never had better friend in White House

  7. Jolly y you get so upset with (David)?. When he spok or speak of Christianity.Every thing that happens in this world is in the Christian speaks of wars and rumers of wars in the last days.So if you don’t believe what he is saying live him.dont respon with your disrespectful comments.l know you are intelligent.So let us keep it civiliz.we are like brothers on this platform.of freedom of expression.

  8. Jolly has no appetite for constructive criticisms but yet get very downright temperamental when cornered. What does Ralph size has to do with proper governance?

Comments closed.