Within six weeks, Government will be establishing an office of Invest Barbados in Beijing, which will service all of China.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made this disclosure recently at a reception to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, at Hilton Barbados Resort.
Ms. Mottley told her audience: “What is little spoken of in recent times is the Anti-Avoidance Treaty for Double Taxation and the Bilateral Investment Treaty, which anchor the relations between both of our countries with respect to investment and taxation. To that extent, the Government of Barbados is happy to announce that we will shortly, within the next six weeks, be re-establishing, in Beijing, an office of Invest Barbados and a representative…to take responsibility for investment in and out of Barbados.
“We do not make this decision lightly, but we do so recognizing that in the same way that treaty was able to bring significant benefits to Chinese firms before the protocol was established, that there is also still an opportunity for Chinese firms to use Barbados as a beachhead for investment, as well as protection, as Chinese firms seek to invest in other countries across the globe, and particularly within this hemisphere….”
To have these treaties in Barbados’ arsenal, the Prime Minister stated, and not have persons go to work daily to promote them, would be like not having them at all.
She said she was happy both countries were in discussions which would lead to the expansion of their relationship. “Without getting into the details, I am satisfied that over the course of the next few months, you will see significant progress on both the existing projects as well as new projects, which are in early discussion and are the subject of visits between our two countries,” she disclosed.
Ms. Mottley noted that both countries had signed the Belt-and-Road Initiative Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which would lead to tangible benefits for citizens in Barbados and China.
“Yours from the point-of-view of investment and utilization of resources and ours as part and parcel of our developmental process in building back out key aspects of this country,” she shared.
Staying the course, she stated, was one of the lessons she had learnt from her interaction with the people of China. Elaborating on that point, she said China did not increase its GDP by 450 times what it was in 1949 by abandoning the course of action it had set out on.
“China did not set out what it achieved to do, to lift its people out of poverty, by changing course. China has not made the astronomical achievements in scientific and technological feats and innovation by changing course,” she stressed.
Ambassador Yan Xiusheng said since diplomatic relations were established in 1977, China and Barbados had become good friends and partners. “Our partnership has demonstrated a good example in international relations of mutual respect and developing equal relations between different sized countries,” Mr. Yan added.
He reminded those gathered that during the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott’s visit to China last February, the two governments signed the MOU of Belt-and-Road Cooperation, which would create more opportunities in the areas of advanced agriculture, clean energy, blue economy, infrastructure and digital connection, among others.
“The embassy looks forward to working with our Barbadian colleagues to bring the MOU into practical cooperation projects and to advance the economic and social development of Barbados,” he stated.
Ambassador Yan noted that 11 Barbadian students had been offered scholarships to pursue bachelor or master’s degrees in China. In addition, he pointed out that a fourth medical team had arrived last week and the members would continue to work at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.