Roseau, Dominica – Monday, July 28, 2014 – Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit is in Trinidad and Tobago for the first CARICOM – Japan Summit. The one day summit taking place on Monday, July 28, 2014 will feature Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Japanese Prime Minister will also hold bilateral meetings with each country represented at the Summit.
Since 1993, CARICOM and Japan have enjoyed friendly relations and this summit signals a quantum leap in their engagement as it is the first time that a Japanese Prime Minister is visiting the Region. It is being held during the designated CARICOM-Japan Friendship Year to observe two decades of relationship in diverse fields such as culture, trade and tourism; and a special logo has been created to symbolically express this relationship.
The Summit’s agenda issues for discussion include: The vulnerabilities of CARICOM and the necessary cooperation for its sustainable growth; strengthening exchanges and the bonds of friendship and deepening cooperation in the international arena.
The Official Opening of the Summit will be addressed by CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Prime Minister of Trinidad of Tobago and host, Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar; Chair of CARICOM, Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and Prime Minister Abe.
Dominica established diplomatic relations with Japan in 1978. Major areas of cooperation with Dominica include: technical training in Japan, Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, grassroots projects with Non-Governmental Organizations, hospitals, and schools, Fisheries Grant Aid Programme, and the most recently signed Grant Aid for Provision of Industrial Products.
Prime Minister Skerrit is accompanied by Minister for Employment, Trade, Industry, and Diaspora Affairs Honourable Dr John Colin McIntyre and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ms Careen Prevost.
Minister for Information, Telecommunications and Constituency Empowerment Honourable Ambrose George is Acting Prime Minister while Prime Minister Skerrit is out of state.