If things work out for Vincentian Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, there will be a St. Vincent and the Grenadines Mission in New Delhi. That’s what Gonsalves hinted last Tuesday as he updated the media on a recent trip to India.
“We are looking at how we can keep it cheap,” the Vincentian leader disclosed. He pointed to the “cost of office space,” as well as housing in relation to the venture. 
Dr. Gonsalves acknowledged that this is the first visit of a Vincentian Prime Minister to India, and he described the relations between the countries as “excellent.”  
“We have a good thing going,” Gonsalves outlined.
The main focus of the India visit was Gonsalves’ participation in the United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification Symposium. 
Some 8,000 delegates from 180 countries shared experiences on that subject. The Vincentian leader stressed on aspects of land degradation and drought, poverty, housing expansion and infrastructure. Aspects like bush fire, deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, coastal erosion, pollution and natural disasters were highlighted during those discussions. 
Three agreements were arrived at as a result of the gathering. According to the Prime Minister, Cenio Lewis, High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, signed an accord relating to exemption of visa requirements for some passport holders. 
“This will facilitate the ease of doing business,” Gonsalves indicated. 
This country’s Health and Environment Minister Luke Browne signed an agreement on “traditional system of medicine.” 
Gonsalves initialled an agreement relating to Solar alliance. 
Other areas of cooperation extended to cooperation on health and medicine. A Memorandum of Understanding between the two nations related to research work on Information and Communication Technology. There were also discussions on cultural exchanges. 
The Vincentian government expressed gratitude for a US$1.3M injection from India towards upgrading the arrowroot industry.
There was a CARICOM injection on behalf of the Indian government, with US $1M directed towards relief to the people of Bahamas. That will be coordinated through the Caribbean Disaster Management Agency (CDEMA.) 
The Indian/CARICOM platform will be enhanced through the staging summit on the side lines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York scheduled for next week Wednesday at which Indian Prime Minister Modi is expected to give full attention. 
That will focus on climate change, the blue economy, and how India can partner in the region’s development needs.(TheVin)

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