Barbadians have an opportunity to hone their Spanish speaking skills while benefiting from technological expertise, thanks to a new bilateral agreement on technical cooperation between Argentina and Barbados.
The agreement, which focuses on areas of common interest between the two countries such as agriculture, culture and language, was signed yesterday by Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxine McClean and Argentine Ambassador to Barbados Gustavo Martinez Pandiani.
It was during this event, which was part of the opening of the workshop on cooperation between the South American country and the Caribbean, that McClean underscored the importance of Barbadians becoming bilingual in this age of globalization.
She told those gathered at the Accra Beach Resort that because business was taking place in an increasingly integrated global society, Government embraced opportunities for Barbadians to learn a second language, especially Spanish.
“We live in an increasingly globalized world where physical borders are waning in importance and real-time transactions are occurring without the physical movement of people and money. In view of this reality, I am of the view that it is also critical for us to enhance the language skills of our children and citizens by improving the quality of Spanish training offered in our schools and institutions,” McClean said.
The minister pointed out that despite the different stages of development between the countries, as well as differences in culture, size and historical experiences, Barbados and Argentina were linked through similar global challenges.
“We are faced with very similar global challenges that threaten our efforts to achieve sustained economic growth and development. Since Barbados and Argentina developed diplomatic relations in 1968, technical cooperation has been the hallmark of our relationship and I am pleased to say that with the reopening of the Argentine embassy in Bridgetown in 2013, there has been a steady increase in this endeavour,” she explained.
Also addressing the gathering, Martinez promised that the agreement would produce tangible results through a number of projects which the embassy intends to roll out this year, including the Argentine film festival at the University of West Indies and “the first ever performance by an Argentine singer at both Pan Fusion and Pan Pun De Sand during Crop Over”.