The use of agreements to create a framework to deepen relations was the main focus when High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa, Xoliswa Nomathamsanqa Ngwevela, recently paid her second courtesy call on Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, at her Culloden Road, St. Michael office.
The High Commissioner informed Minister McClean that South Africa was ready to engage Barbados to discuss the signing of an Air Services Agreement and that discussions could be convened in the margins of the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organisation meeting in Kenya later this year.
As it relates to the signing of an Agreement on the Exchange of Information Relating to Tax Matters (TIEA) and a Draft Agreement on the Avoidance on Double Taxation (DTA), High Commissioner Ngwevela stated that South Africa’s preference was for the TIEA, given the parameters for the exchange of information between the signing parties.
She also noted that Barbados and South Africa had already signed a TIEA and that South Africa was in receipt of amendments submitted by Barbados.
It was also noted that South Africa was looking to move forward on the Draft Cultural, Technical and Scientific Cooperation Agreement, which was submitted previously by Barbados.
The issue of engagement and relations as members of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group was also alluded to by the two officials. It was noted that discussions were under way for the ACP-EU Post-Cotonou relationship and that the hopes were for strengthening the platforms of the relationship while enhancing relations among ACP countries, fostering more south-south cooperation.
The Foreign Minister and envoy also discussed the possibility of commercial missions and participation in trade shows and acknowledged that this too would offer up opportunities to build on export promotion in traditional areas, as well as in the cultural industries.
Barbados and South Africa established diplomatic ties on January 4, 1994, with accreditation initially at Kingston, Jamaica, then later at Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.