As part of her current whirlwind diplomatic trip taking in five countries and various high profile global events and summits, Prime Minister Mia Mottley visited China to discuss the relationship between the two nations and in particular China's support for Barbados and other developing countries.
The Barbadian Prime Minister as welcomed for the official visit by Chinese Premier Li Qiang who took office in April this year, and addressed the Great Hall of the People. In her address she thanked China for their support during the Covid-19 Pandemic, for sending medical teams and supplies to Barbados.
Ms Mottley stressed the importance of the relationship between Barbados and China and said that both countries were committed to improving lives and pursuing sustainable development opportunities. She identified agriculture, energy, infrastructure, construction, poverty reduction, tourism, culture and education, and climate change among other global challenges, which the two countries will work together on.
She emphasised that Barbados was against "decoupling and breaking the chain", and supported the continuation of the multilateral trading system enforced by the World Trade Organisation and the importance of maintaining international production and supply chains.
Premier Li thanked Barbados for being a good friend and partner to China and for the promise of building strategic mutual trust, with Barbados-China relations as a model of solidarity, cooperation and mutual benefit. He noted various areas for cooperation, including the joint construction of a high-quality Belt and Road.
China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which marks its 10th anniversary in 2023, is a global development plan that assists countries across the world, focused on development and connectivity.
The premier said that China encourages its enterprises to invest in Barbados, and is willing to expand imports of superior products from Barbados and provide assistance within its capacity to help the country's economic and social development.
After the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of multiple bilateral cooperation agreements including one on implementing the Global Development Initiative, as well as blue economy, healthcare, and more.
Prime Minister Mottley's official visit to China comes ahead of the 14th Annual Meeting of the New Champions, known as the 'Summer Davos Forum'. She will attend the annual meeting, which will be held in Tianjin this week with some 1,500 representatives from more than 90 countries participating.
Before visiting China, the Barbadian leader began her global trip in London where she did the rounds in diplomatic circles, meeting with high commissioners to promote and gather support for her Bridgetown Initiative. She also participated in the 75th anniversary celebrations of the 'Windrush' migration of Caribbean people to the United Kingdom, including touring an exhibition hosted by King Charles III.
From there she flew to Geneva and addressed the International Labour Organisation's 2023 Summit, World of Work - Social Justice for All. While in Geneva she met with the secreatary general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development, Rebecca Grynspan, ahead of Barbados hosting the first Global Supply Chain Forum next May.
Next up was Accra, Ghana for the 30th annual meeting of the Africa Export-Import Bank, Afreximbank, where she was a keynote speaker, promoting deepening South-South collaboration between the two regions.
Then on to Paris, where Prime Minister Mottley made global headlines, at the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact, announcing a new Blue-Green Bank for Barbados in collaboration with the major global financial institutions.