Negotiating a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with Israel was a major talking point when that country???s Ambassador to Barbados, Mordehai Bivas, paid a courtesy call on Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean at her Culloden Road headquarters.
Senator McClean told the Ambassador: ???One of the things that I hope we can also pursue is our interest in negotiating a Double Taxation Agreement because that creates for our business community another mechanism for strengthening our relations.
With a DTA, given our network of agreements, business persons from your country, for example, who could utilise our jurisdiction, can also work with other countries with which we have similar agreements.
Mr. Bivas noted that the DTA was at the preparatory stage in his country???s Finance Ministry, and efforts were on to advance the process. ???It is also a declaration of good faith and the belief that the potential is there,??? he remarked.
Acknowledging that his country looked forward to further strengthening relations, the Israeli Ambassador said: ???Our relationship has always been cordial. We both share a deep understanding and a stable democracy. There is deep respect for human rights and human liberty, and based on that, there can be no limit to our relationship.???
Following the Ambassador???s disclosure of some 25 scholarships for Small Island Developing States in the area of public health, Senator Mclean expressed gratitude, noting that Barbados and CARICOM had placed the high incidence of chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs) on their agenda.
She stressed the need to develop health management strategies to address issues of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, in the younger population. ???Not only in terms of remediation and providing health care but also the prevention of CNCDs must be met head-on,??? observed Ms. McClean.
The longstanding ties established with Israel, since 1967, were also praised by the Minister, who expressed the hope that Mr. Bivas, who is resident in New York, would enjoy his stay in Barbados.
Suggesting a visit to the Jewish Synagogue, the Foreign Affairs Minister told Ambassador Bivas she considered this ???an early memory of our ties to Israel??? and added: ???It is for us a historic monument and symbol of the long connections between our countries and our peoples. I really anticipate that we will continue to build on that strong relationship that we have.???