India’s partnership with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is based on the “spirit of universal brotherhood,” President Ram Nath Kovind has said, as he renamed the “Calder Road” to “India Drive” in the presence of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, underscoring the strong Indian connect with the Caribbean island nation.

President Kovind, who arrived here on Thursday for the second-leg of his two-nation tour of the Caribbean, met Dame Susan Dougan, Governor General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Prime Minister Gonsalves and discussed strengthening cooperation in the fields of information technology, health, education, tourism and culture and in the multilateral fora.

“President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the Indian origin community in Kingstown. The President renamed ‘Calder Road’ to ‘India Drive’ in presence of PM Dr Ralph Gonsalves,” the President’s Office said in a tweet on Friday. President Kovind, the first Indian head of state to visit this country, lauded the Indian community for their contribution to the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as their adopted home.

Addresses the Indian community

“I am glad to know that members of the Indian community living here have adopted this land as their own. They live in peace and harmony with other communities and are making rich contributions to the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). As a result of their positive approach, the Indian diaspora commands respect and affection in SVG,” he said, while addressing the Indian diaspora here.

“The declaration of June 1 as Indian Arrival Day in Saint Vincent and October 7 as Indian Heritage Day marks the importance that this country attaches to its Indian connection,” he elaborated. Terming India’s partnership with St. Vincent and the Grenadines was based on the spirit of universal brotherhood, President Kovind made a strong pitch for a slew of investments in the country.

“Our developmental partnership with Saint Vincent & the Grenadines is based on the spirit of universal brotherhood. We want to support our brothers and sisters here, in building a stronger Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, with infrastructure projects that add value to the well-being of the people,” he explained.

During the address, President Kovind also lauded the citizens of the island nation for creating a democratic, economically vibrant and a multi-ethnic society that was full of optimism. On Thursday, the two countries signed two MoUs on Exchange of Information and Assistance in Collection of Taxes and on ‘Refurbishment of Old Carter Community Centre’.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an important partner for India and both nations are non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, an official statement said. President Kovind arrived in Kingstown after participating in a range of activities in Jamaica, including an address to the joint sitting of the Jamaican parliament.