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PM Browne anticipates productive First CARICOM-Saudi Arabia Summit

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne is looking forward to a productive and successful
meeting as he leads an Antigua and Barbuda delegation to the First Summit of
Heads of State and Government of CARICOM and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 16 th  November with an Investment Forum
on the 17 th of November.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Works and Housing Minister Maria Browne, and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Senator Dwayne George, along with
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell of Grenada, Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew of
Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Prime Minister Philip Pierre of Saint Lucia departed the
V.C. Bird International Airport on Tuesday afternoon for Riyadh, where they will
join other CARICOM Heads who will actively engage with His  Majesty Salman
bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and Crown Prince and Prime Minister His Royal Highness
Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and other government
officials on issues of mutual importance at the bilateral, inter-regional and global

Some of the issues down for discussion area deepening CARICOM-Saudi Arabia
relations designed to support the sustainability of the Community’s development
objectives through the coordinated use of financial, technical, and human
resources, to promote economic and social development among Member States;
World Expo Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC); Agriculture and Food
Security, Transportation, Renewable Energy and Climate Change and Finance.
Tourism, Investment, Education, and Health will also form part of the discussions.

The Opening Ceremony slated for today, Thursday, will hear addresses from His
Majesty Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and
King of Saudi Arabia; His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin
Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia; Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica and
Chair of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM; and Dr. Carla
Barnett, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community.

Prime Minister Browne, before departing the V.C. Bird International Airport, said
that while investment is of paramount importance for CARICOM and Antigua and
Barbuda, in fostering economic growth, job creation and building a robust and
resilient economy, he plans to establish levels of cooperation with Saudi Arabia in
a wide range of areas.

He said that for Antigua and Barbuda, public health infrastructure development,
improving health delivery systems, and improving quality basic education, lifelong
learning, and technical and vocational education and training are of equal
importance, and therefore he will also aim to collaborate with Saudi Arabia in
these areas.

He noted that his team will put forward a request for a scholarship programme for
Antiguan and Barbudan students to pursue degree studies in Saudi Arabia, which
will facilitate knowledge exchange and cultural understanding.  “We also believe
that we can develop academic collaboration and research initiatives through
teacher exchanges and educational infrastructure development,” he pointed out.

“In the area of health, we believe we can collaborate on healthcare infrastructure
development including the construction and upgrading of clinics, laboratories, and
medical treatment facilities along with advancing medical training opportunities,
education, and advancing electronic health records management,” noted Prime
Minister Browne.

Prime Minister Browne is also expected to pursue collaboration in the areas of
technologies for screening, early detection, and treatment of NCDs including
diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.  Other CARICOM countries
are expected to pursue similar areas of cooperation.

The trip to Saudi Arabia is fully sponsored by the government of the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia.
Prime Minister Browne and the other members of the Antigua and Barbuda
delegation return to the country on Saturday.  The Hon. Attorney General, Sir
Steadroy Cutie Benjamin is the Acting Prime Minister.

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