|Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (Ag), Steven Blackett welcomes Ambassador of the Czech Republic Edita Hrda to Barbados.?? Mrs. Hrda has encouraged Barbados to take advantage of the EPA. (C.Pitt/BGIS)|
The Barbados government has been urged, among other things, to create partnerships with the Czech Republic so as to utilise funds under the European Partnership Agreement (EPA).??
This sentiment came from the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Edita Hrda, during a courtesy call on the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Steven Blackett, shortly after the signing of a Double Taxation Agreement between the two countries.
Ambassador Hrda stressed it was very important for both countries to take advantage of the benefits of the EPA, since "There is a lot of money in the European Union that could flow into good programmes here, [Barbados and the Caribbean]."??
She explained that the system was designed in such a way that the Czech Republic contributes to the EPA which, in turn benefits other countries.?? The Envoy remarked: "If our people [in Barbados and the Czech Republic] are presenting good projects, they can get money to work on these projects in their respective countries."
She added: "On the Czech side, our business people are not yet prepared to come with the projects and ask for European money… I feel obligated to encourage my people to think about this part of the world and to do projects in Barbados and the Caribbean."
Minister Blackett welcomed the opportunity to partner with Czech Republic and said he was pleased at the prospects of both countries working together to enhance not only the economy, but human resources.
The officials also discussed other possible areas of collaboration in education and alternative energy, and the sourcing of solar panels produced in Barbados.??