India looks to Trinidad for oil, signs 5 pacts

January 6th, 2012 - 10:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS) India Friday enhanced its economic and cultural ties with Trinidad and Tobago by signing five pacts and agreed to step up energy collaboration with the oil-rich Caribbean nation, home to a large Indian diaspora.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held talks with his Trinidadian counterpart Kamla PersadBissessar, the first woman head of government of Indian origin to visit the country.

Persad Bissessar will be the chief guest at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas that kicks off in Jaipur Saturday and will be conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman.

The talks focused on expanding economic and cultural ties between India and Trinidad and Tobago, where persons of Indian origin constitute 42 per cent of the population.

The two sides signed five pacts, including a crucial bilateral air services agreement and a pact on technical cooperation in the area of eduction.

They also signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in traditional Indian medicine, an MoU on setting up a chair of ayurveda in the University of West Indies and another MoU on cultural exchanges.

The two leaders also discussed a host of global issues, including terrorism, climate change and the UN reforms. The Trinidad leader reiterated support for India’s candidature for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council.

Intensifying energy collaboration figured prominently in the discussions. An Indian delegation led by Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy will visit Trinidad and Tobago later this year to flesh out areas of mutually beneficial cooperation. Both sides welcomed the fact that Indian companies have expressed interest in investing in Trinidad and Tobago, said a joint statement.

Rich in oil and gas resources, Trinidad and Tobago is the largest and most vibrant economy in the Caribbean.

The two sides agreed to step up trade and investment across a varied spectrum of areas ranging from conventional and renewable energy, SMEs, IT, pharmaceuticals, health, tourism and entertainment.

India agreed to help the Caribbean nation to encourage its budding IT sector when the latter sought its partnership in the development of an Information Technology Park. India also agreed to promote Trinidad and Tobago as the hub of medical and healthcare tourism in the region.

The Trinidad prime minister will also visit the Kolkata Memorial Monument from where her ancestors had set sail for the island nation in the middle of the 19th century. She will also visit her ancestral village of Behlpur in Buxar district in Bihar.

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