Qataris en route to Antigua

The government of Antigua & Barbuda is claiming its visit to Qatar was a success after having reportedly received word from that country’s government that it will host a regional development conference in Antigua early next year.

The announcement was made by the Office of the Prime Minister and follows a visit made by Prime Minister Gaston Browne to Qatar for bi-lateral discussions, and to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for an investment conference.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne
Prime Minister Gaston Browne

According to an October 17 press release from the Office of the Prime Minister, “The government of Qatar will hold a conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Antigua in January”.

It added, “In a letter dated October 16 to Prime Minister Browne, the Qatari government stated that…there is “a new mandate for Qatar to focus on Caribbean development and expansion of Qatar social and economic ties to the region.”

According to the release, the Qataris plan to invite heads of government from Dominica, Haiti, St Lucia, St Kitts-Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago. During the session of the House of Representatives yesterday, Browne added that Antigua & Barbuda’s Ambassador to the UAE, Casroy James had recently been named as “ambassador-designate” to Qatar as well.

Ambassador of Antigua & Barbuda to the UAE Casroy James (
Ambassador of Antigua & Barbuda to the UAE Casroy James

“We are capitalising on the fact that we have established an embassy…in the UAE, so he will cover both the UAE as well as Qatar, rather than having to duplicate our costs by appointing a separate person and having separate offices in Qatar,” he said.

Browne also revealed that a group from the UAE would arrive to explore investment opportunities much sooner than the Qataris.

Antigua Observer