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Date: 22 May, 2015
Source: Barbados Government Information Service

Barbados’ efforts to forge stronger international business ties with the Latin American region are bearing fruit.

A Colombian delegation recently met with representatives from the Government of Barbados to discuss closer relations between the two countries.

The delegation, which included Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Patti Londoño Jaramillo, and Director of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, María Andrea Albán, held talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean and Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss.

During the meeting, which was held at the Ministry of International Business, the group discussed pursuing cooperation in a number of areas which would be beneficial to both countries.

The Deputy Minister spoke about the importance of training key personnel and expressed a keen interest in Colombians receiving training in English, particularly for business executives and public service officers.

Minister McClean stated that the University of the West Indies and the Barbados Community College offered excellent programmes in English as a Foreign Language and Barbados would make an ideal language training base for Colombians who wished to enhance their English skills.

Ms. Londoño Jaramillo also made reference to having increased trade and investment between the two countries, the possibility of joint ventures, and further collaboration in areas of technical cooperation.

Minister Inniss agreed, and added that his Ministry was at an advanced stage of organising a commercial mission to Colombia in July to promote Barbadian services and products and foster business linkages. He also indicated that meetings with government officials to discuss the negotiation of a Double Taxation Agreement, as well as with Colombian airlines representatives to engage on the establishment of direct air linkages from Colombia to Barbados, were also envisioned.

Other areas discussed included continued collaboration on the development of strategies for small island developing states to deal with climate change and sustainable development; the signing of an Air Services Agreement between the two countries; and investment opportunities which would be beneficial to the private sector.

A Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) between Barbados and Colombia was signed on November 25, 2014.