Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi, will be visiting Jamaica from June 5-7, the Indian High Commission has announced. The minister will be meeting with people of Indian origin, whose ancestors came to the Caribbean 162 years ago. India and Jamaica have traditionally enjoyed cordial and friendly relations. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited Jamaica in 1975, following which it was decided that a resident Indian mission should be opened in Jamaica. The Prime Minister of Jamaica is likely to visit India early next year. Jamaica proposes to open its resident Mission in India in the near future.
“The visit, the first by a Cabinet-level minister from India, will be an opportunity to learn about the issues pertaining to the Indian community in Jamaica and also strengthen further relations with Jamaica,” said Kailash Agrawal, high commissioner of India.
It is estimated that there are around 50,000 people of Indian origin in Jamaica, which also has a good number of Indian expatriates. “Many of the people of Indian origin, whose forefathers came to Jamaica as indentured workers, have been elevated to high positions and are doing very well,” said Agrawal.
Overseas indian affairs ministry
Recognising the importance and the needs of the large Indian community living abroad, the Government of India established a Ministry for the Overseas Indians Affairs. Minister Ravi will visit Trinidad & Tobago and Suriname before he arrives in Kingston.
“We hope the visit of the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs will further strengthen the social, cultural and economic relations between the two countries,” Agrawal said.