CARICOM and SICA leaders meeet in El Salvador

CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque, (second right ) meets with Secretary-General of Sistema de la Integracion CentroAmericano (SICA) Juan Daniel Aleman Gurdian. Photo: Caricom Secretariat

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Central American Integration System (SICA) will seek to strengthen relations between the two Regions when they meet in San Salvador, El Salvador, on Friday 19 August for their Third Summit.

The Bureau of Heads of Government, led by CARICOM Chairman the Honourable Dr Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, is heading a CARICOM team of ten Member States at the meeting. The other members of the Bureau are the Honourable Tillman Thomas, Prime Minister of Grenada, His Excellency Desiré Bouterse, President of Suriname and Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

Friday’s Summit follows the previous two which were held in Belize – the first in 2002 and the second in 2007. At that second meeting a Plan of Action was outlined to develop areas of co-operation and a review of that Plan is on the agenda for this meeting. The two sides will also take the opportunity to share information on the latest political and economic developments within their regions and matters relative to the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), an organisation in which countries on both sides are members.

Some of the main areas to be discussed with respect to the strengthening of relations include, sustainable development, human and social development, trade and investment promotion, air and maritime transportation and security co-operation. A Joint Declaration will be issued at the end of the meeting.

Trade between CARICOM and SICA averaged close to US$500 million a year over the past five years with the balance in favour of the Central Americans.

The Second Meeting of Foreign Ministers of CARICOM and SICA will precede the Summit on Thursday, also in San Salvador. The Foreign Ministers will follow a similar agenda to the Heads of Government and also discuss follow-up mechanisms for the collaboration.

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