Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Ministry spending more to boost foreign trade


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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is committing $3.2 million of is $5 million budget towards creating a more robust trade agenda which has more non-traditional relationships.

Speaking on day seven of the Estimates Debate in Parliament yesterday, Senior Minister Kerrie Symmonds pointed to an increase in Barbados’ international trade already as an example of the progress being made so far.

He reported that between 2020 and 2021, Barbados’ exports were $441 million and rose to $502 million last year.

Symmonds, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, said there needed to be more focus placed on the things which are of greater significance to the local economy.

“We do this by arranging trade agreements across the world and by trying to evolve from non-reciprocal and non-preferential arrangements,” he said.

“We have enjoyed arrangements with the United States of America and Canada who are major trading partners, but we must now forge more mature and fit for purpose trade agreements as opposed to arrangements in which the country and the region stand on their own two feet in regards to finding markets.”

There is belief within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that they will be able to expand their diplomatic footprint into Ireland during the course of the financial year with the Minister saying that it is a relationship built upon heritage and has developed into something of commercial benefit.

“That (link to Ireland) has transformed itself into an investment relationship, ” Symmonds said. “We are already in Ghana and Kenya and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the advantages of this is not just to have new embassies created, but to build people to people contact. We are laying the platform for economic diversification and economic transformation.”

Barbados’ relationship with the UAE has extended its reach into the Gulf states for the first time in its existence. It comes at a time when the country is trying to find a platform economically for natural gas exploration as well as oil. It is viewed in-house as a strategic alliance with nations whose “bread and butter” is that type of endeavour.

Last month, Barbados’ High Commissioner to Kenya, Alex McDonald, was accredited to Rwanda, which means the island’s footprint now reaches into Central Africa.

There are also plans in place to ramp up the outreach to the Barbadian diaspora and leverage their skills, financial weight and good will in an attempt to bring them to bear on Barbados’ economic development.  (JC)



  1. Whether or not you believe in God, this is a “must-read” message!

    Throughout time, we can see how we have been slowly conditioned to come to this point where we are on the verge of a cashless society. Did you know that the Bible foretold of this event almost 2,000 years ago?

    In the last book of the Bible, Revelation 13:16-18, we read,

    “He (the false prophet who deceives many by his miracles–Revelation 19:20) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

    Speaking to the last generation, this could only be speaking of a cashless society. Why? Revelation 13:17 states that we cannot buy or sell unless we receive the mark of the beast. If physica


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