RIYADH — Saudi Arabia and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have decided to fortify their partnerships and opening new avenues of cooperation.
In a joint statement issued at the end of the inaugural Saudi – CARICOM Summit in Riyadh on Thursday, both sides reiterated their resolve to strengthen ties through pursuing opportunities for sustainable development, peace, security and stability, tourism infrastructure development, as well as to create business opportunities in key sectors.
The summit, co-chaired by Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman and Dominican Prime Minister and CARICOM Chairman Roosevelt Skerrit, endorsed the candidacy of Saudi Arabia to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup and supported Saudi Arabia’s bid to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh. Heads of State and governments of CARICOM countries and the CARICOM Secretary General Carla Barnett attended the summit.
The summit reaffirmed mutual interests and friendly relations of Saudi Arabia and the Caribbean community. The leaders exchanged views on issues of common interest and discussed ways to further expand and advance their partnership to take advantage of the growth opportunities that can be utilized through cooperation between their two dynamic regions based on a shared vision and the values embodied in the United Nations Charter.
The leaders reiterated their resolve to join efforts to promote peace, security, stability and prosperity, through mutual respect and cooperation between countries and regions, as well as to achieve sustainable development and progress. The two sides will undertake consultations and explore cooperation on specific areas of common interest between both sides, namely education scholarships, health, maritime cooperation, connectivity, logistics, food security, energy security, tourism economic and other possible areas of cooperation, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The leaders decided to strengthen ties between the two sides, at the multilateral and bilateral levels, and in global fora by pursuing opportunities for sustainable development, peace, security and stability, tourism infrastructure development, as well as creating business opportunities in the ICT/global digital services sector and boosting trade and investment flows by creating mutually beneficial opportunities for joint investments, with special emphasis on sustainable infrastructure, renewables, trade, tourism, logistics, and connectivity.
The summit decided to promote trade and investment relations between Saudi Arabia and CARICOM, by enhancing public-private partnership and business-to-business relations between both regions, using available and new physical and online platforms, trade missions, exhibitions, seminars, conferences, and dialogue.
The CARICOM leaders and individual member states pledged their support to Saudi Arabia’s bid to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh, highlighting the importance of organizing regional and international exhibitions to re-energize economic and cultural exchanges between Saudi Arabia and CARICOM.
The leaders decided to cooperate in the development of sustainable and circular agriculture and in the promotion of sustainable food production, sustainable use and management of water resources and promote trade and investment opportunities in food and agri-based industries and encourage the exchange of information, sharing of experiences, research, modern technologies and best practices, as well as through conducting capacity building activities.
Saudi Arabia and CARICOM countries will promote dialogue among the peoples and cultures of both sides to enhance trust, and advance mutual understanding and greater respect for diversity, thus contributing to a culture of peace. They will build on the two regions’ cultural diversity, openness and rich history to stress that tolerance and peaceful coexistence are among the most important values and principles for friendly relations between nations and cultures.
The summit also decided to promote the cultural and creative industries of CARICOM and Saudi Arabia through cultural festivals, art exhibitions, film festivals, workshops, book fairs and other events. Furthermore, both sides will encourage the exchange of best practices and capacity building in the areas of museology, protection, conservation and restoration of cultural and historical heritage.
They also agreed to promote cooperation in the areas of tourism, including heritage, cruise, sustainable and eco-tourism, medical and wellness, by undertaking benchmarking activities, joint tourism investments, and strengthening capacity-building. The summit stressed the importance and urgency of promoting joint action towards mitigating climate change and adapting to its impacts, protecting the environment and developing low carbon and clean energy technologies.
The leaders reaffirmed the importance of working together to confront the global challenges related to climate change, committing to all efforts to address this urgent issue by setting and achieving ambitious goals to reduce emissions, adopting renewable energy production, and clean technologies including for abatement and removal, and promoting equitable promoting equitable access to climate financing for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to support mitigation and adaptation measures. They underscored the need to find innovative technical solutions that will accelerate the transition to low-emission economies, and continue to explore sustainable and inclusive pathways to implement the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The CARICOM leaders welcomed Saudi Arabia’s Middle East Green Initiative (MGI), and its announcement to establish and host a dedicated MGI Secretariat and allocate $2.5 billion to support MGI projects and governance. They also supported the announcement by Saudi Arabia about the establishment of the International Water Organization based in Riyadh, while calling for further decisive global action.
The summit also highlighted the important role that CARICOM and Saudi Arabia can play in hosting major sporting events. The Summit endorsed the candidacy of Saudi Arabia to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup and welcomed that the Caribbean will host the ICC T20 World Cup in 2024 and Saudi Arabia to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup. The high-profile gathering also recognized the important initiatives arrived at by Saudi Arabia and CARICOM in their respective regions, and decided to hold the Second Saudi Arabia-CARICOM Summit in 2026.
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