India to help develop Trinidad as ICT hub

January 27th, 2012 - 11:35 am ICT by IANS  

Port-of-Spain, Jan 27 (IANS) India’s Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme will facilitate the advancement of Trinidad and Tobago’ s objective of becoming the ICT hub of the Caribbean and Latin America, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Communications Surujrattan Rambachan.

He told the 62nd anniversary function to mark India’s Republic Day at the residence of the Indian High Commissioneri Malay Mishra on Thursday night that ICT collaboration is important to Trinidad and Tobago as it can only benefit from India’s remarkable technological advancements in this area.

Rambachan said that India has increased its allocation to 50 slots under its ITEC programme and the appication of new technologies in the various industries will increase “our national capacity and our competitiveness over the longer turn as we seek to diversify our economy beyond the current advantages in oil and gas”.

“India as an international leader in the fields of technology, science and industrial development as well as in sustainable and meaningful development through South-South cooperation can share experiences and best practices with Trinidad and Tobago as we strive to become a leading international player in the highly competitive and interdependent world,” he said.

Rambachan said Trinidad and Tobago remains motivated by the level of interest shown and positive responses demonstrated by the various stakeholders in India for cooperation in the fashion and film industries. “Trinidad and Tobago acknowledges the high standards of India’s fashion and film industries and we are proud to partner with India the development of our very own,” he stated.

Rambachan recalled Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s visit earlier this month to Bhelupur in Bihar, home of her ancestral parents who came here between 1845 and 1917 to work on the sugar and agricultural plantations. The prime minister was the chief guest at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), the annual congregation of the Indian diaspora, at Jaipur Jan 7-9.

“Those of us who were there couldn’t hold back the tears, couldn’t restrain the emotions because we, too, were overwhelmed by this karmic encounter, best understood and appreciated by those who engage in social adventure, willing to know better, ourselves, by tracing our roots and researching the characteristics of our forebears so that our lives can be of greater meaning and purpose to those around us, especially when we hold public office,” Rambachan added.

Over 40 percent of Trinidad and Tobago’s population of over 1.3 million is of Indian origin.

(Paras Ramoutar can be contacted at paras_ramoutar@yahoo.com)

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