Barbados today reiterated its call for the world’s richest countries give special consideration to small vulnerable states.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has repeatedly pleaded with larger countries and international financial institutions not to disqualify the region from accessing concessionary financing based on the level of development. He has contended that small states should qualify because of their vulnerability and fragility.
In welcoming Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) His Excellency Roberto Azevedo today, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Maxine McClean made a similar appeal to the world’s leading rule-making body for international trade.
McClean argued that Barbados’ size presented major challenges to its economic development and that recognition of its limitations and associated vulnerabilities was vital at the highest levels of international fora.
“What is required is flexibility in the rules for those who need it most. Focused developmental assistance to compensate for structural difficulties of small vulnerable states is also necessary,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs said.
Barbados is currently coordinator of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, as well as the Group of 90 (G90) alliance of poor and small developing countries at the WTO, and MCClean said it has been unrelenting in advocating for practical solutions to the problems that are central to the development of a trading system tailored to the needs of all members.