SINGAPORE - Ministers from 10 Caribbean countries and the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), are in Singapore at the invitation of Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam for the CARICOM High-Level Ministerial Exchange Visit.
The 10 countries are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The exchange will run from Monday to Friday this week.
In his speech at the welcome ceremony of the CARICOM High-Level Ministerial Exchange Visit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today, Minister Shanmugam highlighted the growing economic and political ties between Singapore and the Caribbean, and how our closer engagement with CARICOM countries have been invaluable in finding common ground and shared interests on bilateral and global issues.
Minister Shanmugam also launched an Enhanced Technical Assistance Package to boost Singapore's ongoing development exchanges with CARICOM Member States.
To-date, more than 1,300 Caribbean officials have already participated in the Singapore Cooperation Programme in areas such as public administration, economic and urban development, information and communications technology, and climate change.
Prior to the welcome ceremony, Minister Shanmugam also signed an Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Her Excellency Maxine McClean.
As part of this inaugural exchange visit that Singapore has organised for Ministers from the CARICOM, the Secretary-General, Ministers and their accompanying senior officials will be attending a customised programme and be briefed by various Ministries and government agencies on Singapore's development experience in areas such as economic development, aviation and maritime management, e-government, urban development, and water supply and waste management.
The CARICOM Ministers will be making a joint courtesy call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong later in the week, and will also meet with various Singapore Ministers.