Barbados is cementing its close relations with the northern Caribbean and has already started talks on boosting cooperation with Belize.
According to Barbados’ non-resident Ambassador to the Association of Caribbean States and CARICOM, David Comissiong, Belmopan and Bridgetown have already started talks on a wide range of areas including agriculture, the blue economy, investment, renewable energy, trade and the teaching of Spanish.
Last week, Comissiong presented his letter of credence to Belize’s Governor General Dame Froyla Tzalam. He also met with Prime Minister John Briceño; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration, Eamon Courtenay; other government ministers, including those with responsibility for Tourism and Education; students at the University of Belize; reparation leaders and the Head of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Dr. Colin Young. He also donated Barbadian books to the National Public Library of Belize on behalf of the Government.
“Belize is a very important CARICOM country. It is the only CARICOM country that is located in Central America, so it is our Caribbean bridge or gateway to Central America. I think that there are many, many benefits for Barbados and for the rest of CARICOM in deepening its relationship with Belize,” Comissiong said Wednesday during a press briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
He pointed out that in his report to the Government on his trip he recommended air lift talks, reciprocal cultural and secondary student exchanges, joint tourism ventures, training for Belizean hospitality students in Barbados and a technical and vocational education training programme.
Last month, the Ambassador visited Jamaica where he met with the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, and discussed the possibility of cooperating and developing bilateral and joint agreements.
Comissiong, who was appointed Barbados’ non-resident Ambassador to the Association of Caribbean States and CARICOM in August 2018, has only presented his letter of credence to Heads of State in St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, and most recently, Belize; making him Barbados’ High Commissioner to those countries. Until he has presented his letter to the other CARICOM countries, he is referred to as High Commissioner-designate.
Ambassador Comissiong said: “Barbados is looking at bilateral relations with all of our CARICOM brothers and sisters and in the weeks and months to come, Barbadians are going to hear a lot more about very specific and concrete initiatives that will be rolled out to take forward these bilateral cooperation programmes.” (BT/BGIS)