Barbados recently launched its programme of activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal. The celebrations were officially launched by Barbados’ Senator Dr. the Hon. Esther Byer Suckoo, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
The Panama Canal was officially opened on August 15, 1914. Panama and Barbados have been known to have strong linkages, dating back from that period when approximately 60,000 Barbadians migrated there to help build the canal.
According to Senator Byer Suckoo, “The Panamanian experience is often credited with giving impetus to the emergence of a Barbadian middle class, and highlights the power of Barbadians overseas in providing a platform for a quantum leap in the development of our nation.”
She said it was important to commemorate the centennial “as a tribute to the industrious contribution of our citizens to human civilization” and “as a means of highlighting the enduring legacy of friendship, goodwill and cooperation between Barbados and Panama.”
Several activities and events have been planned as part of Barbados’ Panama 2014 celebrations. These include an exhibition, lecture and educational tour organised by the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, scheduled for August 2014. Also in August, the Barbados Postal Service plans to launch a Commemorative Stamp issue.
Senator Byer Suckoo also noted that the Barbados Port Inc and Manzanillo International Terminal in Panama were scheduled to sign a Sister Port Agreement, and eagerly anticipated the formal signing of the Barbados-Panama air services agreement, which had already been initialled.
Barbados currently has a Double Taxation Agreement in force with Panama. Invest Barbados will be continuing efforts to strengthen business linkages and investment flows between the two countries.