Chile wants to deepen co-operation with T&T in the post-pandemic world.
Executive Director of the Chilean Agency for International Development Cooperation Cristián Jara was on an official trip to T&T from September 30 to October 2 and told the Sunday Guardian some of these common projects both countries can work on include post-pandemic health, renewable energy and greater business ties.
The visit was part of an official visit of 12 days through countries of the Caribbean Community, that included T&T, Guyana, and Dominica.
In email responses to the Sunday Guardian about his visit to T&T, Jara said like T&T, Chile has faced very difficult circumstances but they are willing to share their experiences with T&T.
“In 2020, like many countries, Chile took into consideration different dimensions related to the pandemic. For example, adapt and redistribute human resources in the health sector, deliver new ways to support vulnerable people, and provide tools to face the economic struggles,” he said.
He also gave details about his trip to T&T.
“The agenda in T&T was centred mainly around meetings with government officials. I expect for my next trip, I will have meetings with the civil society and the private sector. Nonetheless, my agenda in T&T started with a meeting with the Permanent Secretary of Planning and Development, Ms Joanne Deoraj, where we identified new areas of cooperation in the post-pandemic scenario.”
He said with the support of the Chilean Ambassador to T&T, Juan Aníbal Barría, he also met with T&T’s Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne and they agreed to develop a new stage in the agenda of international cooperation.
“Following this, we agreed that our countries need to advocate the concept of ‘development in transition,’ taking into account that both countries are not eligible for receiving official development aid (ODA) according to the standards of the Development Assistance Committee (CAD) of the OECD and especially considering the pandemic’s consequences within our economies.”
Jara said this trip started in T&T with the goal to reinforce the cooperation agenda between Chile and the English-speaking Caribbean, considering this area is a priority in Chile’s national agenda of international cooperation for development.
“To achieve the mentioned goal, we will include and promote bilateral and multilateral efforts. The idea was to revitalise the agenda with more dynamism and valuable input to reach our shared objectives outlined under Sustainable Development Goals (SDG16+) towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.”
He added that while in T&T he also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Association of Caribbean States (ASC).
“Also, I had a meeting with its General Secretary, Rodolfo Sabonge, in which we reviewed the main subjects involved in the mentioned MoU. The referred document established the basis for technical cooperation, financial cooperation, scholarships, and capacity building projects in priority areas such as preservation of the environment, renewable energy, sustainable tourism, disaster risk management, and resilience, among others.