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Lord Ahmad visits the Caribbean

HONOURING HEROES: Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, far right, and UK High Commissioner to Jamaica, Asif Ahmad,

MINISTER of state at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Lord Tariq Ahmad recently completed a four-day visit to Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.

During the visit, Lord Ahmad, who has responsibility for the Caribbean, reinforced UK-Caribbean relations and underscored the significant role the region can play in next year’s Commonwealth summit.

The trip marked the second visit to the region by Lord Ahmad in three months and the fourth visit to the region in the last quarter by a UK Govern- ment minister, underscoring the strong relationship between the UK and the region.

In Jamaica he met Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson Smith, as well as the lead- er of the opposition Dr Peter Philips. He also met Jamaican Chevening alumini, recipients of the UK Government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders.

In Barbados, the Minister visited the military facility from which the UK's £65 million hurricane relief effort was being coordinated. He also met the Prime Minister Freundel Stuart QC and Maxine
McClean, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, thanking them for their continued support and co-operation.


Lord Ahmad presents a token to His Excellency Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

DIVERSE

Lord Ahmad said: “The UK and Caribbean share a long rich history with shared values, common interests and an interwoven history. The Caribbean is a diverse region, combining resource- rich economies, agriculture and tourism opportunities. During my three day visit, discussions focused on the great potential to increase trade and how we will cooperate to combat organised crime and counterterrorism as well as a untied aspiration to strengthen the incredible and verse opportunities across the Commonwealth in run up to next year’s Commonwealth summit in London.”

The UK has been working closely with the government of Trinidad and Tobago on criminal justice reform including supporting anti-corruption initiatives, and strengthening security capacity to tackle serious organised crime.

The Minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding on security cooperation. Trade between the UK and Caribbean is growing. If the small economies of the Caribbean are treated as a single unit, the UK’s trade with the Caribbean is second only to that with Brazil.

The UK is the largest bilateral donor in the region, with an aid programme of around £400 million.

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