Singapore launches enhanced technical assistance package for CARICOM

By added on 15/07/2013

Economic and political ties between Singapore and the Caribbean Community of countries (CARICOM) are growing and the close engagement have been invaluable in finding common ground and shared interests on bilateral and global issues, reports Channel News Asia.

Making the point was Singapore Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs, K Shanmugam at the high-level ministerial exchange visit between the two sides taking place in Singapore from July 15 to 19.

To further enhance ties, Mr Shanmugam launched an Enhanced Technical Assistance Package under the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP). The three-year enhanced package aims to boost Singapore's ongoing development exchanges with CARICOM in several ways.

Firstly, Singapore hopes to welcome more senior officials from CARICOM Member States to Singapore for customised training courses and study visits.

Next, CARICOM officials will be given priority in all the SCP's training courses, and thirdly, Singapore will award a limited number of post-graduate scholarships for CARICOM officials who gained admission into the local universities.

Officials are also exploring ways to enhance partnership in the area of capacity-building in subjects that are most helpful to their development like public administration, e-government, economic development, urban development and climate change.

Mr Shanmugam said that to-date, more than 1,300 Caribbean officials have already participated in the SCP in areas such as public administration, economic and urban development, information and communications technology, and climate change.

Bilateral trade between Singapore and the CARICOM has been increasing steadily -- growing by 30 per cent over the past three years from S$2.4 billion to S$3.1 billion.

The CARICOM is now Singapore's 33rd biggest trading partner and companies are collaborating on projects ranging from energy to info-comm technology.

During the ministerial exchange, Singapore and Barbados also signed an Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement.

This agreement helps to facilitate greater trade and investment opportunities between the two regions, and further enhance linkages between the business communities and people.