Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ronald Toppin, was full of praise for the “outstanding work” done by the Embassy of Argentina in Barbados.
Speaking at an event to celebrate Argentina’s National Day, which was observed on May 25, he noted that there continues to be a “steady increase in bilateral engagements and a marked enhancement of collaboration between Bridgetown and Buenos Aires”.
Minister Toppin extended best wishes to the Government and people of Argentina on achieving another milestone and gave his assurance of Barbados’ continued friendship with that South American country. He also commended Ambassador Gustavo Martinez Pandiani for his “level of commitment” towards strengthening relations between both countries.
“Over the years, our most active engagement has been in the area of technical cooperation. However, this has increased exponentially with the arrival of Ambassador Pandiani, who has not only sought to deepen relations but also to expand the areas of collaboration.
“If Ambassador Pandiani typifies the level of commitment that his country ascribes to its bilateral relations, then the relationship between Barbados and Argentina can only grow from strength to strength. Therefore, not only have we witnessed an increase in cultural cooperation, but the stage is also set for even greater things to happen between our two countries,” the Acting Foreign Affairs Minister said.
He pointed out that on April 24 and October 2, 2018, the Governments of Barbados and Argentina signed a Bilateral Agreement on Technical Cooperation and a Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Cooperation in the field of sports.
Adding that Government prioritized the promotion of the cultural industries as a means of enhancing economic development, he said government was grateful that Barbadian filmmakers had been afforded the opportunity to participate in Argentina’s renowned Mar de Plata film festival. He also commended Ambassador Pandiani for hosting numerous exhibitions featuring Barbadian artists in his chancery.
“We are equally happy that we have been able to welcome Argentine artistes to our shores to enjoy a real taste of our beloved Crop Over festival. And I can tell you that the performance and workshops of the tango artistes have also captured the imagination and hearts of many Barbadians,” Minister Toppin remarked.
Ambassador Pandiani said the gathering was “a celebration of friendship” and thanked the guests, who included the Governor General of Barbados Dame Sandra Mason; Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley; President of the Senate, Sir Richard Cheltenham, and Leader of the Opposition Bishop Joseph Atherley.
The envoy said that the embassy was able to execute several bilateral initiatives “within only one year”, which included cooperation projects in agriculture, fishing, public health, environment, sports, arts and language. He further outlined the signing of agreements in humanitarian assistance, football, and cricket, as well as the hosting of cultural and artistic activities, such as a film festival, art exhibitions, theatre and dancing, all held free of charge to the public. Barbados and Argentina established diplomatic relations in 1968. (SP/BGIS)