Barbados cabinet has approved the request for Panama and Mexico to establish diplomatic missions in Barbados.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kerrie Symmonds, made the disclosure during a post-Cabinet press conference today at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Information, Webster Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael.
The Foreign Affairs Minister noted that the request for Barbados to be a “fulcrum” through which Latin American countries could reach the Eastern Caribbean is something Barbados is happy about and speaks to a “growing degree of confidence and interest in doing business in Barbados and with Barbados”.
“Cabinet would have approved during the last two meetings on what we call əˈɡrēmənt, which is just the French word for agreement, to an offer or an indication coming from the Government of Panama that they wish to deepen their relationship with Barbados. Still further, they have chosen Barbados as the place in the Eastern Caribbean, where they will now wish to establish an embassy so that we will have on-the-ground representation for the Government of Panama here in the country.
“In same measure, the Government of Mexico has also signalled to us and asked for Barbados’ Government to give əˈɡrēməntt and Cabinet has agreed to that as well, for them also to establish a mission here in Barbados,” Minister Symmonds stated.
He noted that the benefits of these foreign policy initiatives aid in deepening relationships between Barbados and the two countries, which could assist in building out commercial trade, tourism, agriculture and food security, and cultural development.
Minister Symmonds also disclosed that a similar interest had been expressed by the Government of Colombia to establish a mission here.
“They already have a mission in Trinidad and Tobago, so the real issue now that we have to settle is: ‘Will they have an entirely new mission headed by an ambassador here or will this be a split, so to speak, on the representation?’ Of course, that is a political and economic consideration for the Government of Colombia [and] once they have settled that then we will know the extent to which the representation here will either match that in Trinidad or be shared with Trinidad,” he explained.