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Barbados and Guyana seek common ground in bilateral talks

Barbados and Guyana seek common ground in bilateral talks
Dr Irfaan Ali speaking with Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Marsha Caddle, at Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Monday. (Picture by Sandy Pitt)

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Barbados and Guyana held bilateral talks on several issues on the sidelines of the 15th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 15) at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Among the topics discussed by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Guyana  President Dr Irfaan Ali include “cooperation and investment in the areas of agriculture and fisheries, oil and gas, mining, forestry, tourism, the hospitality industry, transportation, housing and water resources”.

The two leaders issued the following joint statement after Monday’s talks:

His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, QC, MP, Prime Minister of Barbados engaged in bilateral discussions on October 4, 2021, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Conference Centre, Bridgetown, Barbados.  They were accompanied by their Ministers and Senior Government officials as well as members of the Private Sectors of Barbados and Guyana.

Both President Ali and Prime Minister Mottley alluded to their desire for a new paradigm in the relations between Guyana and Barbados that would allow the peoples of both countries to benefit from an expanded programme of cooperation.

Barbados and Guyana seek common ground in bilateral talks
Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados addresses the audience at UNCTAD 15. (Picture by Sandy Pitt)

They expressed a determination to succeed with a model for the region, built on enhanced trust and cutting through bureaucracy to achieve their objectives within the shortest possible time for implementation. Several initiatives were discussed to advance cooperation and investment in the areas of agriculture and fisheries, oil and gas, mining, forestry, tourism, the hospitality industry, transportation, housing and water resources.

Significant attention was paid to exploring how the agriculture potential of Guyana and Barbados could be utilised to reduce food importation bills, as part of the overall regional food security plans.

It was agreed that a monitoring mechanism would be put in place to oversee the implementation of an action plan.

Counterpart meetings were also held at the Ministerial level and between the private sector representatives of both countries with a view to advancing the decisions of the Heads of Government of Guyana and Barbados.

The Heads of Government encouraged the members of their private sectors to become more aggressive in taking advantage of the opportunities that should be seen not as competitive, but providing a measure of complementarity that would be a win-win for both sides. They stressed the urgency with which both countries needed to move forward.

President Ali expressed his sincere appreciation to Prime Minister Mottley for the warm welcome which he received and for the kind hospitality extended to him and his delegation by the people of Barbados.

Prime Minister Mottley also conveyed her sincere gratitude to President Ali for travelling to Barbados with his delegation to attend the UNCTAD 15 opening session and to engage in substantive talks with her and her delegation. (PR/SAT)