Last Tuesday, senior officials from Barbados and the United States of America (USA) held talks, that centred around enhancing the relationship between the two countries.
The meeting was led by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kerrie Symmonds, and USA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Caribbean Affairs and Haiti, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Barbara Feinstein, at the Ministry’s Culloden Road, St Michael location.
Discussions focused on improving the strong relationship between Barbados and the USA through the recently launched Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (APEP), of which Barbados is a founding member.
Senior Minister Symmonds highlighted that APEP was a great first step in providing an opportunity to nurture the commercial relationship between Barbados
and the USA. He added that this would allow for greater access to American markets and create economic impetus in Barbados, specifically in the trade of services.
The US-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis (PACC 2030) was also discussed, with officials praising the work being done under the four pillars of PACC 2030. However, it was agreed that more work remained to be done to achieve the goals of PACC 2030 of advancing climate adaptation and resilience and clean energy cooperation.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Feinstein raised the issue of cyber security and extended an offer of assistance to Barbados. Minister Symmonds expressed Barbados’ gratitude for the offer and agreed that this was an issue that both sides could work on going forward.
In relation to security and crime, the Deputy Assistant Secretary said the United States was taking the issue of firearms tracking seriously and had begun to implement measures to tackle the rising issues of trafficking of firearms and gun crimes in the region.
Other topics discussed included matters related to Haiti, correspondent banking, de-risking, and migration issues.
Senior Minister Symmonds and Deputy Assistant Secretary Feinstein both reiterated their appreciation for the longstanding and productive relationship between the two countries and expressed the need to continue working together on issues of mutual concern and benefit.
Also present at the courtesy call were: Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Donna Forde; Senior Foreign Service Officer, Dr. Ricardo Kellman; Foreign Service Officer II, Stefan Carrington-Henry, and USA Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Linda Taglialatela. (BGIS)