Description: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. The Most Honourable Jerome Walcott, and India’s new High Commissioner to Barbados, Shankar Balachandran, pose for a photograph during a recent courtesy call. (J. Payne/MFAFT)
Author: Sheena Forde-Craigg/BGIS
India wants to improve its 55-year relationship with Barbados.
The new High Commissioner to Barbados, Shankar Balachandran, stated this recently during a courtesy call on Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and Senior Minister coordinating for all Social and Environmental Policy, Senator Dr. The Most Honourable Jerome Walcott, at the Ministry’s Culloden Road, St. Michael Office.
Minister Walcott welcomed the new envoy and expressed gratitude to the Government of India for its generous donation of 100,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses back in 2020, which were integral to Barbados’ vaccination efforts.
He also thanked India for inviting Barbados to participate in several online training sessions aimed at public healthcare officials, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
High Commissioner Balachandran, who is based in Paramaribo, Suriname, conveyed greetings on behalf of his Foreign Secretary to Minister Walcott, and indicated that his country was interested in increasing its focus on Latin America and the Caribbean.
The two officials discussed various subject matters, including how Barbados-India bilateral relations could be further enhanced in areas, such as direct flights between the two countries and grant funding.
They also touched on the biotech sector given Barbados’ push to further build out the life sciences industry, electric vehicles, renewable energy, and Barbados’ vibrant Indian community.
Also present during the courtesy call were Senior Foreign Service Officer, Trecia King, and Foreign Service Officer, Jamar Payne. Barbados and India established diplomatic relations on November 30, 1966.