Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will attend two high-level meetings this week, one in Jamaica and the other in the Republic of Panama, and will also undertake a three-day working visit in that Central American country.
Mr. Stuart will join CARICOM Heads of Government in Jamaica on Thursday, April 9, for a meeting with President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, where they will discuss critical issues of interest to the two sides, including competitiveness.
The Prime Minister will then attend the Seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama on Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11, which has as its theme: Prosperity with Equity: The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas.
Several sub-themes will be discussed during this meeting, among them education, health, energy, environment, migration, security, citizen participation and democratic governance.
There will be youth, civil society and business fora during the Summit. The Business Forum will analyse opportunities for promoting investment, facilitating trade and fostering development, particularly in the energy, agri-business, finance, information technology and public infrastructure sectors.
The Summit, which is held every three years, offers countries an opportunity to jointly define a hemispheric agenda at the highest level to address urgent challenges and propel positive change. The last summit was held in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2012.
This Summit will be marked by the attendance and participation of Cuba for the first time; a long-awaited and historic event which has been warmly welcomed by the Prime Minister of Barbados, one of the four CARICOM countries which established diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1973.
Describing his upcoming three-day working visit to Panama following the Summit as “significant”, Prime Minister Stuart said Barbados was interested in deepening relations with Panama.
???We want to strengthen our relationship, not only for historical reasons and the Diaspora connection, but we see potential for cooperation in several areas, including trade, tourism, international business, air services and culture,??? he stated.
During the visit, his first to Panama, he will meet with Panamanians of Barbadian descent, government officials and key contacts in the private sector, and lay the foundation for the exchange of official visits between the two countries at a later date.
Accompanying Prime Minister Stuart to the meetings will be Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean; and Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Sonja Welch.
In addition, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Simone Rudder; Barbados’ Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, John Beale; and the Honorary Consul for Barbados in Panama, Dr. Camillo Alleyne, will attend the Summit and be part of the working visit.