British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, attended the 9th UK–Caribbean Ministerial Forum in The Bahamas 28 to 30 April 2016, for talks on trade and investment, security and justice reform and global challenges like climate change. He was accompanied by Minister for the Caribbean, James Duddridge.
Taking place every 2 years, the Forum is a high-level dialogue on bilateral, regional and international issues between the UK and the Caribbean community. At the talks, the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Caribbean reaffirmed the special relationship that exists between them.
The visit follows on from a series of activities recently carried out by the UK to support the Caribbean, including:
- Supporting a conference in the Caribbean last month with representatives from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) on how to harness the economic opportunities presented by the recent influx of sargassum seaweed in the region
- Providing a £5.6 million package to enable sustainable “blue” (maritime related) growth in Commonwealth Small Island Developing States, including the Caribbean, during 2016-17.
- Committing to supporting the Caribbean in facing the global health challenge of Zika virus, by first establishing a bespoke project team of UK public health experts to work with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
The visit was part of the Foreign Secretary’s Latin America tour, which included stops in Colombia and Cuba, and concluded in Mexico.