Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, wants to see the Commonwealth Caribbean territories strengthen their ties with India with whom he says they share Common ties. Browne, who has predicted that India will become the third largest global economy within five to ten years, is urging the region to look toward India as a development partner.
“Within the next five years, certainly not more than ten years, India will become the third largest economy in the world. Mark my word! India is the country that the Caribbean region should be looking towards to develop stronger relations. My view is that India will not only become the most populous country in the world, but it will have a bigger economy as well,” he forecast.
Based on the prediction surrounding India’s economic expansion and dominance, Browne feels that the Asian nation is best positioned to strengthen south-south cooperation and to help Caribbean nations build their capacity in several areas. “India has its own problems, including a significant amount of poverty and the focus would be lifting the Indian people out of poverty, but while they do so they will be in a position to help other countries. That is the model that China adopted. China lifted its people out of poverty over several decades, but it also helped other developing countries here in the Caribbean, Africa and elsewhere build capacity,” said PM Browne.
As a foreign policy strategy, Browne is recommending that Antigua and Barbuda and its neighbours in the Caribbean, should seek to form stronger ties with India. “We should be giving ties with India significant priority as we cultivate closer ties both bilaterally and multilaterally,” he declared. Prime Minister Browne said he already enjoys ‘very warm’ relations with the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The Commonwealth Caribbean territories form part of the former British colonies that maintain a relationship through the Commonwealth.
India and these territories also share a strong passion for cricket. Another country which Browne believes the region should pay attention to is Indonesia, a south-eastern Asian
country, which has also shown signs that it is on its way to becoming a global economic power.