EU And Caribbean Strengthen Partnership And Exchange On Investment Opportunities At SIDS Conference

On 27 May, European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen and representatives of European Union Member States met with Caribbean countries in the side-lines of the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Antigua and Barbuda. It was the first political level meeting between the Caribbean and the European Union since the signature of the Samoa Agreement in November 2023, which provides a framework for the EU’s cooperation with 79 countries of the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States. Trinidad and Tobago was represented at the meeting by the Minister of Planning and Development, the Honourable, Pennelope Beckles.

Commissioner Urpilainen said: “In this period of geopolitical tension and instability, the EU-Caribbean partnership stands as a beacon of hope: natural partners united by a common vision for a fairer, greener, and more sustainable future. Today, we become partners of choice, as we celebrate the Caribbean protocol of the Samoa agreement, which – underpinned by the Global Gateway Investment Agenda – enables us to deepen the cooperation between Caribbean states and the EU.”

Key EU investors and private sector stakeholders travelled to Antigua to present concrete investment opportunities, under the Global Gateway Investment Agenda, in areas such as the fight against sargassum, digital transition, maritime connectivity, water, and energy. Caribbean countries were able to present their priorities and engage with EU investors.

“We have over 130 projects aimed at advancing the green, digital, and fair triple transition in Latin America and the Caribbean. One of the novelties of Global Gateway is that to mobilise the level of investment needed to make a difference, we are bringing together public and private finance. I am happy to exchange with European companies and Caribbean partners to identify obstacles and opportunities for increased European investments in the region,” Commissioner Urpilainen added.

The meeting demonstrated the commitment of the European Union and the Caribbean to work together in the face of global challenges, based on shared values and a common vision for inclusive and equitable societies. It will be followed by an inaugural Caribbean–EU Council of Ministers.

Photo Caption: EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen (centre), poses with meeting participants, including the Minister of Planning Pennelope Beckles (back, centre)

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