Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. The Most Honourable Jerome Walcott, speaking at the Barbados-Suriname Dialogue: Renewing Mutual Interest and Strengthening Bilateral at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, today. (T. Barker/BGIS)
Author: Joy-Ann Gill/BGIS
Barbados must go a step further to incorporate new technologies along the value-chain, which can save foreign exchange and generate employment.
This was underscored by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. The Most Honourable Jerome Walcott, as he addressed the Barbados-Suriname Dialogue: Renewing Mutual Interest and Strengthening Bilateral Relations at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St. Michael, today.
Outlining how this could be done, he told his Suriname counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation, Albert Ramdin, and his team, that there could be better linkages between agriculture and tourism.
He said: “If the food and agriculture sector for example, can be repositioned to supply the food needs of the tourism sector, the establishment of new industries in food production, food preparation and food processing would create a stream of income and empower livelihoods.”
In the area of natural resources, Minister Walcott stressed Barbados was interested in cooperating in their extractive industries, and importing silica and armour rock. And, he said: “I know that you are interested in importing our limestone for your banana plantations and your water treatment.”
It was also pointed out that with respect to transport and travel, there was a need to work on the facilitation of better connectivity between the two countries and the opening of new markets in our region.
And, Barbados’ Foreign Affairs Minister added: “We must now build secure bridges for travel. And our two Governments must commit, to nurture the environment within which our goods, produce and people will be able to travel.”
While further acknowledging there were several spill-over effects that better connectivity, and air and marine linkages would have for sectors such as tourism, health and wellness, education, construction, and culture, he said: “In this new era of a COVID-19 induced crisis, I sense a new urgency and energy required to build upon Brokopondo and to design initiatives which are relevant to the purposes of our two countries and of our 21st century Caribbean Community.”