|PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar says goodbye as she gets ready to leave for Cuba|
CELAC was inaugurated in Caracas in 2010. The integration movement was first proposed in 2008 by former Brazilian President Lula De Silva.
Heads of states and government leaders from 33 member countries in the Caribbean and Latin American region are attending the summit, which will focus on regional security and trade. A special guest will be UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
The conference will also discuss the contentious issue of citizenship in the Dominican Republic for tens of thousands of persons who were born in that country but are now being denied citizenship.
Speaking with the media at the launch of a week of prayer for T&T the PM said Trinidad and Tobago is seeking to develop additional trading links within the region. She said her delegation will discuss what T&T and the CELAC region can share in the area of trade. She said an issue of concern is how the group can better secure the region, especially in dealing with narco-trafficking.
"It affects all of us in this part of the world and as member nations, security issues will be raised as well as trade matters,” she said.
Next month Persad-Bissessar will make a state visit to China on the invitation of President Xi. She would also formally open the country's first embassy in Beijing to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Trinidad and Tobago's High Commissioner to India, Chadradath Singh, will be the ambassador to China.