The United Kingdom (UK), has signalled its intent to enhance its relationship with Barbados, starting this year.
UK’s High Commissioner to Barbados, Scott Furssedonn-Wood, spoke about the year-long initiative, aimed at strengthening ties, during a reception hosted at his official residence, [recently].
Mr. Furssedonn-Wood shared that the one-year project is part of the UK’s “Great Campaign” #GreatUKBarbados. It is a follow-up to a challenge by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley to British Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, in a meeting last year, when she told Mr. Cameron that the UK needed to “do more to step up” its relationship with Barbados.
“This evening, we are taking up that challenge, we are taking up the gauntlet…. We’re using this evening to launch a year of activities which is going to celebrate all of the things that our countries do together but also to test ourselves to do more to keep the relationship relevant, [and] vibrant, to make sure it thrives for the future,” the High Commissioner stated.
He highlighted some of the areas involved in the year-long initiative, which include technology; trade; education; culture and sports. “I think there’s a huge potential for us to work together and do more…. We want to do more on food and drink, particularly drink, which I think is an area of huge potential for our two countries to collaborate further upon.”
[Former] Minister of State in Foreign Trade and Business, Sandra Husbands, said she was pleased to be present to celebrate the relationship between the UK and Barbados, which “reaches so very far back into our history”.
“Our commitment is to continue to build that relationship that it is beneficial, that it is meaningful, and that together we are able to achieve things that will benefit both sides of the ocean”, Minister Husbands stated.
She added that deepening the relationship with the UK, following its exit from the EU, is necessary as Barbados seeks to enhance cooperation in several areas, which was discussed at the first joint ministerial meeting of CARIFORUM and the UK.
“We were able to discuss not only the issue of things, such as climate change, but how are we going to be able to advance more and more trade between Barbados and with the UK. Of particular interest to Barbados would be the area of the cultural services and entertainment and we are interested as well in our professionals having the opportunity to be able to operate within the UK space,” Ms. Husbands said.
Adapted from the Barbados Government Information Service