Air Services Agreement With China Crucial

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Prime Minister??Freundel Stuart greets Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, at the beginning of bilateral talks. (C??. Pitt/BGIS)

Barbados has once again pointed out to China that an air services agreement was important to its (Barbados’) further development of the tourist industry, if this country were to fully explore niche markets in Asia.

To that extent, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says he will continue to address this issue at various levels with the Chinese government.

He urged China’s Premier Wen Jiabao, during wide ranging talks today, to look at revisiting the matter of an air services agreement. Such an accord, he put forward, would not only boost tourism by facilitating the smooth travel of visitors from China to Barbados and vice versa, but would also open up other possibilities for more trade and commerce with countries in the orient.

"There is endless potential, especially for people to people exchanges. Barbados is an approved destination for outbound Chinese, so, we stand ready to resume discussion on the matter," the Prime Minister reminded.

Mr. Stuart, whose visit to China ends this Friday, reiterated that his presence there would serve to further strengthen the already good relations that have existed between the two countries over the past 34 years, and to recommit to the "one China policy."

For his part, Premier Wen said he welcomed the Prime Minister’s visit, as it was "indicative of the importance the two states attach to our relations. Barbados is one of the earliest countries in the Caribbean to establish diplomatic relations with us," he recollected.??

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