Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago Malay Mishra has promised his government’s assistance in developing Tobago.
The Indian diplomat met representatives of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) headed by Chief Secretary Orville London yesterday, (Thursday March 3 2012) the third anniversary of his posting, to provide an update on the action being taken following the State visit to India by the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Mishra said: “We stand to have a high quality of cooperation and collaboration between the governments and the two peoples of India and Trinidad and Tobago.
“I want to assure the people of Tobago that we are also looking at the development of Tobago and what India could do to generate growth, employment, tourism, aspects of traditional medicine, education and culture. There are various other aspects that could be developed including trade and development,” Mishra said.
Mishra said India would like to see a sort of integrated approach for the people of Trinidad and Tobago and to share its technologies and expertise which it developed over the years for the benefit of friendly countries and south south cooperation.
Chief Secretary London congratulated Mishra on the third anniversary of his stint in Trinidad and Tobago and said during those three years the Indian diplomat has always demonstrated and always very clear that special effort be made to treat with the nuisances, the special opportunities and the special challenges in Tobago and how the collaboration between Tobago and the Indian High Commission could help to treat with some of those issues.
London said among the issues discussed at the 45-minute meeting was the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which was signed between the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the Government of India involving collaboration and cooperation in the areas of education, culture, traditional medicine and agriculture. “We would be looking at those documents and we have already gotten a commitment from the High Commissioner that a number of teams will be visiting the country over the next couple months and just as he was committed in the past and had fulfilled those commitments he would ensure that Tobago is not left out of the discussions,” London added.
He said included among the contingents would be a contingent dealing with business development, investment, adding that a team will be coming to look at the Cove Eco Industrial and Business Park.
London said the meeting also dealt extensively with India’s information technology programme and during the next 12 months the High Commissioner indicated that he would ensure the slots allocated to Tobago were filled by Tobagonians. Individuals can in fact go to the website, http.//itec.mea.gov.in for the courses and make their applications through the Administrator in the respective Division, so the Assembly would know where the interest lies.
He said there were a number of Tobagonians already involved in these courses and they have all indicated that they benefitted significantly, not just from the information and certification but also from the kind of interaction where they were able in one class to interface with others from 20 different countries. “This is an opportunity for Tobagonians; the courses are two to three months at some of the best universities in India. It really broadens the experience. Many Tobagonians as possible should try to take advantage of this very important opportunity.”
London said there were to be more cultural exchanges between Tobago and India, with visits for programmes dealing with Indian dance and song.