French Departments mull closer ties with Caribbean region
Closer integration of French Caribbean Departments with non-French speaking countries and territories in the region is the focus of a three-day conference that will be held here this week.
POINTE-A-PITRE, Guadeloupe, Monday November 28, 2011 – A three-day conference opens here this week that will focus on closer integration of French Caribbean Departments with non-French speaking countries and territories in the region.
The conference called Forum FDA (French Departments of the Americas), is slated for November 30 to December 2.
"Today it is necessary to redraw our borders and to engage with the American continents to the North and the South, by learning about our history and by investigating the future of this melting pot of civilization and development - regional integration must be managed while protecting and favouring its rich diversity," said Xavier d'Arthuys of the Forum FDA Secretariat.
The French Caribbean has an important role to play, he added, and must find a way to work more closely with their Caribbean neighbors regardless of linguistic heritage.
Other areas for cooperation and collaboration, he asserted, included research and development, ecological development, as well as artistic and cultural development.
The French Departments of the Americas include French Guyana, Guadeloupe and Martinique, while St. Barthélemy and St. Martin are considered territories.
Forum FDA delegates are hoping to position the French West Indies as the “Mediterranean of the Americas”.
They also intend to position the French Caribbean as a center for training, professional development, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Numerous academics and professional experts from France, the French West Indies, Barbados, Cuba, Jamaica and Mexico will participate in the conference.