Talks toward signing a Double Taxation Agreement between Barbados and India was one of the many topics on the agenda, when Special Secretary to the Americas Consular and Passport, Ministry of External Affairs, the Republic of India, Mr. R. Swaminathan, recently paid separate courtesy calls to Barbados’ Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean.
The two countries, which established diplomatic ties on November 30, 1966, are collaborating to determine areas in which they could work closely together for mutual benefit. Minister Inniss noted that he looked forward to “deepening and further strengthening the relationship between Barbados and India.”
The Indian official also discussed micro and small enterprises with Mr. Inniss, who suggested that further collaboration in this field would prove to be “of great benefit to Barbados.” Other areas of interest included renewable energy, training for regulators within the renewable energy sector and agro processing.
Several other areas discussed for future cooperation between the two countries include business and investment, sports and youth affairs, scholarships and training, information and communication technology, medical professional exchanges, pharmaceuticals and the creative arts, in particular film.
During discussions with Minister McClean, Mr. Swaminathan noted that capacity building was one area in which his country could assist Barbados. He explained that there was an Indian Technical and Economic (ITEC) Programme, which provided scholarships annually, with approximately 300 courses from which applicants could choose. Minister McClean agreed that such a programme was beneficial to Barbadians and suggested that in addition to the scholarships offered, Indian trainers could come to Barbados to share some of their expertise with a larger group of persons.
Agriculture, including the sugar cane industry, working towards building a closer relationship with CARICOM and making travel easier to India for business persons were among some of the other topics discussed.