Foreign Ministers from the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) countries and the Dominican Republic and Premiers of the UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean met in London this week for high-level talks with the Foreign Secretary, FCO Minister for the Caribbean, Mark Simmonds, and other UK Government Ministers.
Held every two years, the UK-Caribbean Ministerial Forum provides a framework for discussion between the UK and Caribbean on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues. This year’s event focused on joint efforts to promote prosperity and encourage economic growth.
As well as government to government talks, the Forum featured a trade and investment event which promoted new business opportunities in the Caribbean. Caribbean Ministers also met HRH the Earl of Wessex, UK parliamentarians and participated in a ‘Caribbean Question Time’ event with members of the UK Caribbean community.
As a result of discussions at the Forum, UK and Caribbean Ministers agreed to follow-up activity on energy security, education for economic development and tackling serious and organised crime.
Speaking after the event, the Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
The UK has a unique relationship with the Caribbean, based on friendship, mutual understanding and shared values. The Forum allowed us to celebrate that relationship but, more importantly, was an opportunity to look forward and agree concrete steps to promote prosperity and boost economic growth for both the Caribbean and the UK.
- The UK-Caribbean Ministerial Forum is the principal vehicle for high-level dialogue between the UK and the Caribbean region.
- It was first held in Nassau in 1998. It takes place every two years at Foreign Minister level with the Caribbean and the UK taking it in turn to host.
- The Forum was last held in Grenada in 2012 and, before that, in London in July 2008.
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