By Julie Carrington
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (BGIS) – Barbados and Jamaica have identified several areas of cooperation that would deepen their already cordial ties and benefit the citizens living and working in both countries.
Acting prime minister Santia Bradshaw and Jamaica’s High Commissioner, Arthur Williams, held wide-ranging talks on Tuesday during a courtesy call at Ilaro Court.
The High Commissioner said he is keen to assist the island in sports development, given his country’s success in the region and on the international stage. Williams said there was a sporting institution in his homeland that produced highly qualified persons in sports and sports administration.
Acting prime minister Bradshaw noted that Barbados would benefit from Jamaica’s expertise in sports, and mentioned that this could be achieved by partnering with the University of the West Indies.
“Even though we are known for cricket, Barbadian athletes are good at sports and can definitely benefit from such a partnership, and perhaps some of your coaches can come here,” she stated.
The two officials also discussed the role of music and culture as a unifying force between the two countries. High Commissioner Williams stated that he was familiar with Barbados’ Crop Over Festival, while acting prime minister Bradshaw informed the envoy about the work of the National Cultural Foundation and the number of Jamaican artistes who have performed at major events held here.
Williams said the two countries had excellent ties in music, sports, culture, and gender affairs.
Bradshaw mentioned Jamaica’s contribution to the Barbadian economy by way of investment, and expressed optimism about new opportunities in other areas.
On this point, minister of state in foreign trade and business development, Sandra Husbands, who was also present, suggested that the sharing of best practices with this island’s stock exchange was an “excellent area to pursue”.
She also noted opportunities for trade missions for entrepreneurs, fashion, the signing of a cooperation agreement and labour exchanges.
The High Commissioner promised to take the ideas on board, pointing out that “he was happy to make all the right connections”.
Other areas discussed were the COVID-19 situation in the region, tackling non-communicable diseases, and tourism. Those present at the meeting included acting deputy permanent secretary in the prime minister’s office, Paula Byer, and acting chief of protocol, Resa Layne.