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The recently concluded Saudi/CARICOM Summit has been declared a success by Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who noted that it has strengthened the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the Caribbean region.
The Antiguan delegation, led by Browne, included Housing Minister Maria Browne and Minister of State within the Ministry of Finance Senator Dwayne George.
Browne expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the summit, stating that he is confident that we will see a number of investments emanating from Saudi Arabia.
The Crown Prince has indicated that they will launch a billion-dollar fund next year specifically to assist Caribbean countries with investments in tourism, energy, and other sectors. One of the significant accomplishments of the summit was a meeting between Browne and the Saudi Arabian company ACWA Power.
The Antiguan government seeks fresh remedies to the country’s chronic water production and distribution problems, and the principals of the Saudi Arabian company will be conducting a survey of the water situation on the island to help put together a sustainable plan.
Meanwhile, the government is considering engaging with a US firm operating out of Trinidad and Tobago to improve water supply in the interim. The possibility of establishing a Saudi Arabian Embassy in Antigua and Barbuda was also discussed during the summit.
Browne stated that his government is open to the idea as efforts continue to deepen ties between the oil-rich gulf kingdom and the countries of CARICOM.
In further one-on-one discussions, Prime Minister Browne is expected to explore potential opportunities for the expansion of petroleum storage with the Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery Company and infrastructural advancements with the Saudi Investment Fund.
Additionally, the government hopes to leverage the proposed $1 billion investment fund from Saudi Arabia to explore potential opportunities for constructing a hotel.