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Thirty Five Jamaicans will participate and benefit from the Indian Technical Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC) in the coming year.

Senator the Honourable Pearnel Charles Jr. Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and His Excellency, Sevala Naik, High Commissioner of India to Jamaica, recently discussed expanding the 50-year-old programme, in which public sector and quasi-government employees are given the opportunity to spend 2-6 months receiving technical training in areas of special interest in India.

The discussions formed part of a Courtesy Call at the Foreign Ministry’s New Kingston offices on 1st May.

“The interaction and exchange that this programme offers, is an important part of our foreign policy and it is hoped we can expand the ITEC,” Senator Charles noted.

Both gentlemen also discussed deepening the partnership in: vocational training, energy efficiency programmes and agriculture, particularly sugarcane farming.

Senator Charles stated that Jamaica and India shared commonalities which include: Commonwealth membership; democratic principles and an interest in promoting South-South cooperation which redounds well for increased and deeper bilateral collaboration.

On the subject of energy efficiency, High Commissioner Naik updated Senator Charles on the recent activities of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Initiative, which was launched in November 2015. The Alliance consists of 121 solar-rich countries mostly located in the tropics. The Ambassador also encouraged Jamaica’s participation in that grouping.

The High Commissioner further indicated that the Alliance is mandated to assist developing countries in harnessing1000 gigawatts of solar energy, garner technological assistance in achieving this goal and in the process, earn US$1trillion by 2030.

In response, Senator Charles shared the view that, “With our sun, wind and water, Jamaica is perfectly positioned to benefit greatly from the development of energy efficient projects through the ISA Initiative.”

It is expected that further discussions will be held between Jamaican and Indian stakeholders over the coming months, with a view to advancing the various areas of cooperation that have been identified.