Riyadh to host 1st Saudi-CARICOM Summit

Riyadh to host 1st Saudi-CARICOM Summit

Riyadh, The Gulf Observer: The first summit between Saudi Arabia and 15 countries, representing the CARICOM Organization, will be held on Thursday, Nov.16, in Riyadh. Heads of state, presidents and senior officials of CARICOM countries started arriving on Wednesday in Riyadh to attend the summit, which will be co-chaired by Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman and Prime Minister of Dominica and Chairman of CARICOM Roosevelt Skerrit.

The leaders, who left Barbados for Riyadh, include Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, President Irfaan Ali of Guyana, President Chan Santokhi of Suriname and Prime Minister Keith Rowley of Trinidad. Most of the leaders of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are also accompanying these leaders.

The Riyadh-Caribbean Summit is the latest alliance that Saudi Arabia has built with countries around the world, in the context of its endeavor to diversify its sources of income, in accordance with Vision 2030, a brainchild of the Crown Prince. Last week, Saudi Arabia hosted the Saudi-African summit, as well as an emergency Arab-Islamic summit on Gaza.

CARICOM (Caribbean Community and Common Market) is an intergovernmental organization, and political and economic union of 15 member states throughout the Americas and Atlantic Ocean. They have primary objectives to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, as well as for coordination of their foreign policy.

The summit will discuss issues including investments, trade, basic projects, hospitality, climate change, energy, and environmental sustainability. Newspapers from Caribbean countries reported on Tuesday that the Saudi-Caribbean Summit emanates from Saudi Arabia’s keenness to strengthen its relations with the countries of the Caribbean Basin and Central and South America.

Gulf – CARICOM summit

Riyadh will also witness the Summit of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and CARICOM countries. This summit aimed at strengthening relations with these countries, especially with regard to economic affairs, enhancing investments and trade exchange between the two sides, facilitating trade, promoting tourism cooperation, and increasing trade and investment flows between the two regions, according to a Saudi diplomatic source. The volume of trade between the GCC countries and the Association of Caribbean Nations in 2021 reached about $6.5 billion.

Last May, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan affirmed his country’s keenness to strengthen friendly relations and cooperation with countries in the Caribbean region. Addressing the 28th session of the Ministerial Council of the Association of Caribbean States in Guatemala, he also highlighted the commitment to working with international partners to achieve sustainable development goals by 2030.

CARICOM is the oldest integration bloc in the developing world. It has a strategic vision for development that is expected to be achieved by 2025. It also has a common economic market.

The General Secretariat of CARICOM is located in Georgetown, Guyana. Its current session is chaired by the Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit while Dr. Carla Barnett is the secretary general of the bloc.

In June 2022, the CARICOM countries announced their support for Saudi Arabia hosting the World Expo 2030 session. In a statement issued on November 12, the bloc also denounced the aggression on Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.