– Barbadian delegation here to strengthen bilateral trade
The Guyanese Private Sector will be getting the opportunity to display local products and services at Barbados’s national agricultural exhibition – Agrofest, an annual event hosted in the island nation.
This assurance was given by a special Barbadian delegation currently being hosted in Georgetown by the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA), along with the Private Sector Commission (PSC), in an effort to deepen bilateral connections between the two countries.
The visiting team consists of Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Barbados to Guyana and Suriname, Alphea Wiggins, and Consultant of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security of Barbados, Dr Leroy McClean.
On Thursday, the Barbadian delegation accompanied by GMSA President Rafeek Khan and the Association’s Executive Director, Nizam Hassan, met with the Agriculture Business Development Officer of the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) and Executives of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA).
At those two meetings, the focus was on deepening mutual ties and exploring possibilities of products and produce that can be supplied to Barbados.
It was noted that the discussions were also centred on “Agrofest”, which is usually held in Barbados to add value to its agricultural sector and promote food security. It is unclear when the annual event will be held this year.
“At this festival, Guyanese products and services will be exhibited at a special pavilion which will offer a taste of Guyana to Barbadians,” a missive from the Private Sector body detailed.
It was further stated that the GMSA’s President reiterated that the St Barnabas accord will see major investment opportunities in both people and businesses with a greater focus on strengthening bilateral trade in specific sectors with synergies for future development.
The St Barnabas accord was signed by Guyana’s President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali and the Barbadian Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, seeking to create one domestic space between their countries in areas across multiple sectors.
This visit of the delegation is to further cooperation and collaboration under this accord.
The Barbadian team is scheduled to meet various Government entities, Private Sector organisations, local companies, and other stakeholders to ensure imports and exports are of equal benefit to both countries.
Last October, Guyana and Barbados committed to working together in order to enhance collaboration and trade between the two Caricom nations.
Since then, several meetings and engagements have been held between stakeholders from both countries – both Government and Private Sector – on furthering this.
In fact, President Ali had said at a networking session on the sidelines of the inaugural International Energy Conference, which was attended by Prime Minister Mottley, that Guyana and Barbados would be advancing together with “many projects” in several areas, including hospitality, food security, agricultural diversification and import substitution.
He added too that a safe space would be created for the Private Sector of both countries to collaborate.
“We’re going to work on creating a space and I want you to hear me and I want the Private Sector to listen. We are going to work on creating a space in which the Barbados Private Sector can also be part of this growth and development. We want to encourage you to do that.
“What we want to do is to create an even platform, bringing opportunities to every segment of the population here and regionally, so that we can benefit together, grow together advance together. But we can only do so through collaboration and partnerships,” the Guyanese Leader had stated.
The importance of building local capacity and ensuring greater connectivity between the two countries to advance the development of the tourism sector in both countries was also highlighted.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mottley had remarked that through leadership, President Ali continued to be a shining light for cooperation and solidarity within the Caribbean and was the “greatest example of the success of the regional experiment”.
She says that the relationship which endures between the two countries is historic and she intends to advance discussions with Dr Ali on how to further improve connectivity between the two countries.
“Because believe you me, if we get the connectivity right, you all will do the rest of the heavy lifting … We have to get it right, both in terms of the movement of people as well as in terms of the movement of goods. This region cannot continue to be complaining about the absence of connectivity,” the Barbadian Head of State posited.