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PM Returns from Trip to East Asia

PM Returns from Trip to East Asia


A recent trip to Malaysia, Singapore and London by the leader of this country, Dr.Ralph Gonsalves, has been described as one of the most successful missions that he has ever undertaken as Prime Minister. {{more}}

During his 12 day working visit, Dr. Gonsalves met with the Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Singapore, the Foreign Ministers of both countries, the Minister of Federal Affairs of Malaysia, investors and financiers in a wide range of economic sectors including tourism, fishing, international financial services, and air transport, university education and management, industrialists in the palm oil and power fields, public officials and professionals in diverse areas.

Addressing the Media at Cabinet Room, in the Main Administrative Building, on Monday, March 13, the Prime Minister, still grieving over the murder of his Press Secretary, Glenn Jackson, at the inception of the conference, reiterated a point he had made earlier to the media: “Glenn would want us while we remember him and remember him well that we must focus on our work and move on”.

Dr. Gonsalves then took some comfort in highlighting the success of his trip relative to investment in St.Vincent and the Grenadines and the region on a whole.

The Prime Minister said the focus of his visit, which ran from February 24 – March 10, was mainly on the development of St.Vincent and the Grenadines. He explained that he set about doing so within the context of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).

“I was urging investors also to use St.Vincent and the Grenadines as a base within the CSME,” said Dr.Gonsalves, adding that the visit to Malaysia and Singapore was done within the strategic framework of the enlargement of St.Vincent and the Grenadines’ political and economic space so that Vincentians and people of the region can more effectively meet the challenges of globalization.

Dr.Gonsalves and Prime Minister Abdullah Bedawi of Malaysia, his Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar and Minister of Federal Affairs, Zulhasnan Rafique agreed that the Malaysian government will facilitate foreign investment by Malaysians in St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

An agreement was also reached that the Malaysian government will provide training opportunities at the university level for Vincentians including at the Malaysian Government’s School of Diplomacy for public servants from St.Vincent and the Grenadines in the areas of Diplomacy/International Relations.

With regard to the meeting with Political Leaders of Singapore, Dr.Gonsalves said he met with Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Minister, George Yeo and reached an agreement that Singapore will facilitate this country in the area of foreign investment, particularly in services.

And both Prime Minister Lee and Prime Minister Gonsalves have accepted each other’s invitation to visit officially their respective countries.

The dates are to be mutually agreed on. However, a date in 2006 is being targeted.

Singapore has also agreed to provide training opportunities at the tertiary level to a limited number of students from St.Vincent and the Grenadines.