T&T, India sign air link agreement

T&T, India sign air link agreement
AP Photo/Manish Swarup

Trinidad and Tobago and India have signed a bilateral agreement, which will establish air links between the two countries.

The air services agreement was signed by Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi during her 10-day official visit to India.

The agreement allows designated carriers to operate flights connection destinations in each country.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, Singh said he and Persad-Bissessar also decided to vigorously pursue the thrust areas for bilateral trade and investments identified by the Inter-Governmental Joint Commission.

“These include hydrocarbons and renewable energy, agriculture, IT and communications, hospitality, health, pharmaceuticals and tourism, the Indian prime minister said.

Singh said the signing of the air services agreement will help in the further development of trade and tourism links.

They also agreed to enhance bilateral technical cooperation through exchange of experts, according to a joint statement by the two leaders.

During the talks, Singh also highlighted the interest shown by Indian companies –both public and private sector – to invest in the energy sector and it was decided that Oil Minister Jaipal Reddy would visit T&T in the near future “to future concretize areas of mutually beneficial cooperation.”

Singh said India’s growing energy needs would be met only through imports and would explore ways and means to source LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) from T&T.

Persad-Bissessar also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on setting up a Chair on Ayurveda at the University of the West Indies; a program of cultural exchanges and a technical cooperation agreement in the field of education.

India has promised to support the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) in the areas of film production, drama, Indian art, and art craftsmen exchange programs.

The Union Minister of Culture in India, Kumari Selja gave a commitment to send a small team to T&T by March this year, to finalize a plan of action in support of the Technical Cooperation Agreement in Culture and Education.

T&T’s Minister of Tertiary Education Fazal Karim promised to have a steelband from T&T sent to India to promote the playing of the country’s national instrument in India.

Brian Lara and Darren Ganga were part of Bissessar delegation, which returned to Trinidad on Jan. 14.