India and Antigua sign development pact

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, January 31, 2007 – The Government of India has agreed to conduct feasibility studies in the areas of health and information technology with the aim of assisting the government of Antigua and Barbuda in establishing a central sewage system and computer access centres across the country.

This agreement was reached between Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh during a meeting in New Delhi last week.

Prime Minister Spencer said that Antigua and Barbuda and India has excellent working relations and his meeting with the Indian Prime Minister further strengthened the cooperation.  He noted that the feasibility studies will give both governments a better understanding of the levels of assistance that will be needed to establish the sewage system in St John’s and complete the computer access centers expansion programme.

During the meeting, agreement was also reached on the government of India conducting a review of the relationship between the American University of Antigua College of Medicine and Manipal University in India, with the aim of providing assistance to strengthen the relations.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the meeting with Prime Minister Spencer said that his government values the relationship with Antigua and Barbuda and the Caribbean and that there are areas that can be developed.

Prime Minister Spencer said that his government is seriously examining ways in which it can establish a more direct diplomatic link with the government of India.  He said that the country must look at having a presence in India.

Both leaders also had extensive discussions on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, the DOHA negotiations and cricket in particular the exploits of Sir Vivian Richards who is a household name in India.

Attending the meeting with Prime Minister Spencer were Education Minister Bertrand Joseph, President of the American University of Antigua School of Medicine Neil Simon and Communication Director Maurice Merchant.