CARICOM, China discuss strengthened cooperation in margins of CELAC Forum

Suriname’s Foreign Minister Ms Yldiz Pollack-Beighle greets China’s Foreign Minister Mr Wang Yi at the meeting
Suriname’s Foreign Minister the Hon. Yldiz Pollack-Beighle greets China’s Foreign Minister Mr. Wang Yi at the meeting

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has signalled its interest in working with China to ascertain how its goals and priorities can be best linked with existing, new and emerging development initiatives from the East Asian country.

Foreign Ministers of the nine CARICOM countries which recognise the People’s Republic of China met with their Chinese counterpart, Mr. Wang Yi,   on Sunday, 21 January, 2018, in the margins of the CELAC-China Forum (CCF) Second Ministerial Meeting that took place in Santiago, Chile, on 19-22 January, 2018.

“Concessional development funding is essential for the building of economic and climate resilience to serve as the platform for our sustainable development.” – Chair of COFCOR, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Senator Maxine McClean

In remarks at the meeting, Chair of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Senator Maxine McClean, underscored the importance CARICOM attached to the existing Caribbean-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, and the Caribbean-China Consultations. The latter was held in May 2016, and is expected to take place again later this year.

Describing those consultations as “valuable mechanisms for continued dialogue and cooperation,” she said the Community also saw the One Belt, One Road initiative China announced in Santiago, as a “very important cooperation and development mechanism.” (more…)

Barbados, Chile to strengthen relations

(From left) President of the Republic of Chile, Michelle Bachelet; Prime Minister Freundel Stuart; and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, during their meeting at Ilaro Court on Thursday. (C.Pitt/BGIS)
(From left) President of the Republic of Chile, Michelle Bachelet; Prime Minister Freundel Stuart; and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, during their meeting at Ilaro Court on Thursday. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and President of the Republic of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, have expressed a keen desire for both countries to strengthen and expand their 50-year-old friendship.

They expressed this wish today during a courtesy call and reiterated it later when officials from both countries met for a working meeting at Ilaro Court. Mr. Stuart pointed out that Chile was the first Latin America country Barbados established diplomatic relations with after its Independence.

President Bachelet added that it was necessary to examine areas both countries needed to collaborate on and look to see how they could be expanded.

During the hour-long talks, Prime Minister Stuart and President Bachelet discussed climate change and the effects of non-biodegrable materials on the environment, including marine life; the situation in Venezuela and CARICOM’s response; and the Air Services Agreement which was signed in November 2013, and entered into force last year, among others.

Read more at: Barbados Government Information Service

PM Stuart to attend CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting

Lead Head of Government of the CSME, Barbados Prime Minister, the Hon. Freundel Stuart and his Foreign Minister, the Hon Maxine McClean
Barbados Prime Minister, the Hon. Freundel Stuart and his Foreign Minister, the Hon Maxine McClean, will be in Grenada for the 38th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will leave Barbados on Monday, July 3, to attend the Thirty-Eighth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), at the Radisson Hotel in St. George’s, Grenada.

The opening ceremony will be held on Tuesday, July 4, at the Grenada Trade Centre, and the conference will conclude on Thursday, July 6.

Mr. Stuart and his CARICOM counterparts will have a packed agenda for the upcoming summit, with Heads of Government expected to review the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and plans for its implementation among Member States. They will also be given an update on the progress towards completing the Protocol on the Refusal of Entry of Persons.

When they meet in a closed-door session, regional leaders will discuss the matter of regional security, as it relates to CARICOM’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy, especially as the Caribbean attempts to grapple with terrorism and violent extremism.

Read more at: Barbados Government Information Service

Barbados to host COFCOR Meeting

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, the Hon. Maxine McClean
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, the Hon. Maxine McClean

Ministers of Foreign Affairs from across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will gather in Barbados from 18 – 19 May, for the Twentieth Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR).

The meeting will be chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, and will comprise Ministers responsible for the Foreign Affairs of CARICOM Member States.

Following the opening ceremony on Thursday, May 18, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St. Michael, at 9:00 a.m., the plenary session of the CARICOM Foreign Ministers will discuss, among other things, A New CARICOM Diplomacy for a Changing International Environment; Post-Cotonou Partnership and the Future of the ACP – Strategic Approach; and The Way Forward on Trade and Development Cooperation with a Post- Brexit United Kingdom.

The Foreign Ministers will also reflect on engagement within CARICOM during the retreat component of the meeting, themed: Community Engagement for Regional Sustainable Development.

Read more at: Barbados Government Information Service