Antigua and Barbuda sign partnership agreement with Suriname


The governments of Antigua and Barbuda and Suriname  signed an agreement that will serve to finance a development programme between both nations.

The agreement was signed here this afternoon as Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua completed the second day of his three day official visit to Suriname.

The agreement, signed with the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF), will finance elements of the Country Assistance Programme for Antigua and Barbuda and will also support  cooperation with Suriname.

 Browne told reporters that based on Antigua and Barbuda’s need for food security , the partnership with Suriname is crucial to help increase the production capacity .

“We have identified a number of areas of cooperation especially in the agricultural sector.We will be signing off on a functional cooperation agreement in which we will be seeking technical expertise from the government and people of Suriname to help us build capacity in our agricultural sector.”

The grant of US$1.6 million will be used to purchase black belly sheep and coconut seedlings – the seedlings will replace hundreds of palms that have succumbed to lethal yellowing disease in Antigua.

The Antiguan Prime Minister also said he hopes to collaborate with Suriname to replenish his country’s need for citrus fruits in an effort to meet the needs of locals as well as the tourism industry.

Concerning tourism, Browne said there are opportunities for entrepreneurs in Suriname as investments amounting to over US$2-billion have  led to the construction of several tourism properties in Antigua and Barbuda. 

“I believe that there is an opportunity for entrepreneurs in Suriname to provide products to these hotel operators …. you have aggregates that we need and we expect very shortly to engage entrepreneurs to import aggregates including sand.

He however said there is one area of serious concern – that of transportation – one of many issues discussed with the President of Suriname Desi Bouterse.

“There are many areas of cooperation, but there is an impediment of transportation, the President  and I have spoken extensively about engaging CARICOM in providing some form of sustainable transportation system within the region to move goods and people as well.”

He said Bouterse has invited Antigua and Barbuda to partner with Suriname in acquiring additional cargo boats – adding that Suriname recently acquired one .

“And we are now looking at the possibility of partnering  with Suriname to acquire another.This could be the catalyst for the start of a regional maritime transportation system and we have asked the CDF  to look at the possibility of providing funding to have an effective maritime transportation system in the region – to move goods fromJamaica in the north to Suriname and Guyana in the south”

“We believe that there is a real possibility for the resources …..we can solve the long outstanding issue of maritime transportation,” Browne added.

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  1. Lovely. Now can I know the significance of the cloth wrapped around the PM? What is it called? What does it represent in the host country?

  2. Mr. PM. This issue has been discussed time and time again. In the last Heads of Government meeting in Jamaica you guys and girls made the commitment to start this shipping line in order to give a more in-depth meaning to CSME. What is the sense that we have all these treaties when it is cheaper to bring goods from New York or Miami. And even worst their is no line that goes directly from Surinam or Guyana to Antigua. Especially if you want to bring LCL shipment. And these two South American countries could be the food basket for the Caribbean. They have everything to offer us. From Agriculture to Lumber to Minerals, and yes sand. And they also have OIL. But do you know that our economy is doing better then theirs? Strange isn’t it. So I hope we can stop the talking and work towards solutions once and for all.

    • Yep, some shipping companies won’t move until they have sufficient cargo. Once filled your goods goes to the USA get scanned for a security fee. Then it’s port hopping back dow the chain.

  3. This is another move in the right direction. The PM and Government of Antigua is to be commended. Now we must work on the details, but this is not impossible. Caribbean solidarity is a must.

  4. What happened to the Chinese food crop sustainable scheme?. Why was Mr Jonas not invited since it appears to be an agricultural visit?. Taking up vital land space to grow coconut again?. Will there be an effective pest and diseases screening scheme in place before these animals and goods bring something into the country which could decemate the livestock population?. An invite for entrepreneurs from a country busting at the seams with natural resources to do better business than local Antiguans?. What other areas of cooperation are in Pandora’s box?.

    • Good obersevation. Perhaps he would no longer be in charge of Agriculture very soon. People are not to impress with his leadership. He is very vindictive and makes enemies everywhere he goes. Remember when he was at Transport Board. Robin had to constantly intervene.

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