Saint Barnabas Accord for Cooperation signed!

President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, sign the Saint Barnabas Accord. (Photo credit: PMO Barbados)

Author: CMS Editor

President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, while attending the 43rd Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, which is taking place in Suriname, have signed the Saint Barnabas Accord, paving the way for both countries to further dialogue in nine specific areas.

The agreement reads…

WHEREAS, the relationship between the Government of Barbados and the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana (hereinafter referred to as the “Parties”) dates back to the establishment of diplomatic relations between Barbados and Guyana since the 30th day of November, 1966, 

AND WHEREAS, the Government of Barbados and the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana signed an Agreement for the Deepening of Bilateral Co-operation in Georgetown on the 5th day of July 2002,  

AND WHEREAS, both Parties embrace the principle of a healthy interdependent cooperation between nations and are convinced that closer economic and cultural co-operation between their countries will enhance the process of regional integration within the Caribbean Community,

AND WHEREAS, with the Agreement for the Deepening of Bilateral Co-operation between the Government of Barbados and the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana (hereinafter referred to as the Parties), which was signed on the 5th day of July 2002, the foundation was established for both sides to engage in regular discussions and exchange views via a Joint Technical, Economic, and Cultural Co-operation Commission to strengthen their relationship in the areas of trade, investment, marine affairs, tourism, air services, education agriculture, forestry and non-timber forest products, sports, culture and youth affairs. 

The Parties have agreed to further dialogue in the following areas through a variety of connectivity mechanisms inclusive of people-to-people exchanges and through leveraging information and communication technologies:

  1. Agriculture, Aquaculture and Food Security
  2. Mining and Quarrying
  3. Tourism and International Transport
  4. Trade and Business Development
  5. Energy
  6. Manufacturing
  7. Education, Technical and Vocational Training, including Capacity Building
  8. Cooperation in Security
  9. Bilateral Integration Measures

Building on the Bilateral Cooperation Agreement, the Parties have agreed upon the following course of action:

  1. Agriculture, Aquaculture and Food Security

The Parties agreed to foster entrepreneurship in the agricultural and aquaculture sectors; ensure food and nutritional security by inter alia minimizing reliance on extra-regional imports of agricultural products and agro-processed items; creating expanded opportunities for horticultural production as a basis for increased exports; and resolving sanitary and phytosanitary challenges and optimization of benefits of the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA).  

They have also agreed to undertake the following activities: – 

  • twinning of work programmes of Ministries responsible for Agriculture;
  • placement of officials in each other’s Ministry of Agriculture;
  • creation of Joint Working Group on Food and Nutritional Security comprising Ministries responsible for agriculture and health, state-owned agricultural and marketing corporations and private sector representatives;
  • export from Guyana to Barbados of beef; corn and soya; coconut and coconut products; fruits and vegetables; poultry and poultry products; and other products as may be determined;
  • export from Guyana to Barbados of shade houses;
  • export from Barbados to Guyana of one thousand (1,000) artificially inseminated black belly sheep in tranches;
  • establishment of a company to manage the black belly sheep production and the creation of a youth programme which includes differently- abled persons to work on a rotational basis on a fifty (50) acre farm in Guyana;
  • lease by Guyana to Barbados of land at a concessional rate for the purpose of joint partnership in animal husbandry and poultry rearing (including poultry feed production) and for the production of flowers, food crops inclusive of breadfruit, cassava, plantains, pineapple, bananas, passion fruit, oranges and coconuts;
  • Guyana to provide Barbados with the tissue culture for the planting of cherries, grapefruit, dragon fruit, breadfruit and other food crops for a project to be undertaken by the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC);
  • identification of an appropriate agricultural community in Guyana to partner with Barbadian farmers in undertaking large scale black belly sheep production in Guyana;
  • increase production in the poultry industry with a view to reducing the food import bill and enhancing food security at the Regional level;
  • establish a Food Terminal with operational plant and facilities in both Barbados and Guyana for local use and for export to the Region and further afield;
  • develop a trade hub in Barbados;
  • produce in Guyana and export to Barbados, eucalyptus trees and cane grass for use in a biomass plant;
  • promote adherence to CARICOM’s 25×2025 initiative to increase food security and reduce extra-regional agri-food imports; and 
  • Barbados to participate in a meeting to be convened by Guyana to analyze gaps in the CARICOM 25×2025 initiative;
  • Guyana to provide Barbados with an aquaculture plan that will include processing and packaging of fish.  A technical team to visit Barbados to assist with the advancement of this project;                          
  • Barbados to become a centre for the processing of meat and fish products for the Eastern Caribbean; 
  • Barbados and Guyana agriculture ministries to establish a youth exchange programme for aquaculture training;
  • Early commencement of work by officials of the two countries for the standardization and harmonisation of protocols and procedures on sanitary and phytosanitary issues to facilitate timely approval and resolution of issues
  • early commencement of work on the development of a programme and curricula for training and capacity building in agriculture
  1. Mining and Quarrying Sector

The Parties have decided to identify joint investment opportunities and to establish a Gold Market in Barbados to foster the legal trade in gold; to build capacity in Barbados in the area of jewelry creation and design and to promote the development of the creative industries through the involvement of domestic jewelry designers of both countries. 

They have also agreed to create a Working Group comprising ministries responsible for natural resources and the private sector to identify opportunities for trade in construction products, especially sand and other minerals from Guyana and limestone from Barbados. 

  1. Tourism and International Transport

Recognizing the need to strengthen the key productive sectors of tourism and in international transport, the Parties have agreed to the following: –

  • twinning of work programmes of ministries responsible for tourism and international transport;
  • establish a single domestic space between Barbados and Guyana – collaboration among immigration and customs officials for the pre-clearance of passengers;
  • establishing of high volume, no frills, low cost air transport options for cargo and freight; 
  • development of transport and logistics infrastructure for airlift and maritime transport;
  • establishment of a working group, involving public and private sector officials, to develop a comprehensive framework for action in the area of transport and logistics, including a review of existing gaps and identification of potential partnerships and opportunities;
  • formulation of a joint destination tourism marketing plan;
  • etablish programme for joint marketing and branding of both countries tourism products;
  • creation of a marketing plan and strategy for the promotion of each country as preferred vacation destination for the other’s population;
  • conduct at the Jean and Norma Holder Hospitality Institute in Barbados in-person hospitality training of personnel in Guyana’s tourism sector;
  • continue the training of Guyanese hospitality workers virtually via Barbados’ National Training Initiative (NTI);
  • identify partnerships in the cruise liner industry;
  • collaborate on trilateral (Barbados-Guyana-Suriname) arrangements for a ferry service;
  • explore the possibility of the Barbados and Guyana governments reducing the taxes on airline tickets for flights between Barbados and Guyana, with a view to making such travel more affordable and accessible;
  • explore negotiating a London-Barbados-Guyana route with Virgin Atlantic Airlines;
  • collaborate to present a Guyana-Barbados proposal to India on the World Cricket Premier League; 
  • collaborate on the Legends Caribbean Cricket Brand 
  • convene a Sports Tourism Investment Conference
  • hosting of a Barbados Tourism Fair; 
  • National Cultural Foundation to have oversight for the registration of Kadooment Bands in Barbados and Carnival Bands in Guyana and to encourage promoters to collaborate on events in the two countries; 
  • establish a direct flight from Lethem to Bridgetown;
  •  work towards concluding a tripartite agreement among Barbados, Guyana and Roraima State in Brazil;
  • promote Guyana and Barbados as  destinations of choice in Roraima State in Brazil; and 
  • commence language training in Spanish and Portuguese for officers placed in Roraima State in Brazil. 
  1. Trade and Business Development 

To improve trade and investment flows between the two countries the Parties have agreed to:-

  • schedule regular interaction and engagement of private sector representatives and companies of both countries;
  •  encourage creation of working space in each country’s Chamber of Commerce to facilitate exchange of officials;
  • provide timely economic and trade data to each other as a basis for decision-making;
  • share information on barriers to trade; with a view to timely resolution of issues identified;
  • create a Joint Working Group on Trade and Business Development to be led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international Cooperation of Guyana and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, respectively,  and include private sector representatives and other relevant persons and agencies.. 
  • explore the possibility of establishing a duty-free zone in both countries’ ports (or in some other location) for the sale of indigenous products.
  1. Energy

To enhance sustainable energy opportunities for Barbados and Guyana throughout the energy sector (i.e. fossil fuel as well as renewables) the Parties have agreed to:- 

  • train young persons in Barbados and Guyana on installation and maintenance of solar energy units / photovoltaic panels.
  • Barbados and Guyanese petroleum corporations to identify opportunities for joint procurement in order to maximize economies of scale and hence reduce prices;
  • create opportunities for investment in natural gas and liquefaction of natural gas;
  • explore complementary opportunities in each country’s oil and gas sector, including ancillary services; 
  • purchase by Barbados of Guyanese wood for transformation into pellets for energy generation; and
  • exchange information on the possibility of financing green activities using green bonds.
  1. Manufacturing

Underscoring the need to identify opportunities for increased business and diversification into value-added activities, the Parties have agreed to facilitate vertical integration of the Guyanese lumber industry, inclusive of the development of value-added products from forestry sector, and to improve the stock of lower-income, modular and hurricane resistant housing stock in Barbados utilizing Guyanese hard wood. To this end, the Parties will seek to: – 

  • further develop contact between relevant Government Ministers and private sector agencies of both countries in the spheres of Manufacturing and Housing;
  • facilitate the export from Guyana to Barbados of pre-fabricated houses;
  • create opportunities for furniture production utilizing Guyanese wood and Barbadian and Guyanese expertise;
  • collaborate in training in the fields of carpentry, joinery and  masonry skills; and 
  • provide data in relation to market demand in Barbados for Guyanese furniture and other wood products. 
  1. Education and Training, including Capacity Building

Cognisant of the importance of education to achieving sustainable development, the Parties have agreed to continue the meaningful exchange and training of professionals in several mutually identified key areas. In this regard, the Parties have agreed to: – 

  • identify and exchange information on the construction sector-related curricula of the technical institutions of both countries with a view to improving the technical and vocational training that such institutions provide; 
  • collaborate on developing a cadre of skilled workers for the construction industry; and 
  • identify specific areas of training required in both Barbados and in Guyana.
  1. Cooperation in Security

The Parties reaffirm the importance of technical cooperation in the area of security. It was agreed that Barbados will facilitate Guyana’s accession to the Regional Security System (RSS) under Article 26 of the RSS Treaty. 

  1. Bilateral Integration Measures 

To ensure the effective operationalization of the initiatives outlined in the Saint Barnabas Accord for Cooperation, both sides have agreed to: –

  • create Joint Working Groups of Officials to ensure continuous monitoring of work programmes and execution of agreed action plans;
  • schedule regular bilateral meetings at the Ministerial and Head of Government / State levels on a quarterly basis; and 

convene twice yearly meetings of the private sectors with the President of Guyana and Prime Minister of Barbados for the purpose of a public-private assessment and review of progress on the implementation of the aforementioned initiatives.


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