Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development, Christopher Sinckler (left), and Barbados’ Ambassador-designate to China, Sir Lloyd Sandiford during a briefing session today at Parliament Buildings. At left is??Acting Permanent Secretary, Ruth??Blackman.??

There are a number of significant areas in which Barbados and China can work together.

This was the view expressed by Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development, Christopher Sinckler, during a courtesy call by Barbados’ Ambassador-designate to China, Sir Lloyd Sandiford at Parliament, today.

Minister Sinckler thanked the Government of the People’s Republic of China for its "very generous contribution to the Constituency Councils programmes". He also expressed the hope that this would continue through the provision of technical assistance for the retrofitting of abandoned buildings within communities to form Constituency Empowerment Centres.

He suggested that cooperation could be forthcoming in the area of services, particularly with respect to training persons to produce prostheses, since Barbados only had one trained person in this field.

In terms of tourism, Minister Sinckler discussed the possibility of staging exchanges between elderly persons in Barbados and China at the level of the senior games, since it was a major part of the island’s?? sporting calendar and capable of attracting considerable visitors to these shores.

He disclosed: "We feel that we can build certainly bridges between what is happening in China and what is happening here in Barbados, particularly as we work in other places, such as the United Nations, the World Bank and other institutions globally.

"Clearly the issue of urban development is one of major concern to us…they [Chinese] have been able to do a fantastic job in the big cities, particularly in Beijing and Shanghai.?? They have had an explosion of physical development and it has been very orderly and sensibly laid out, where all of the different types of activities, business, leisure, education and so forth, have been able to co-exist," Mr. Sinckler intimated.

The Minister also expressed the hope that the people of China could learn from Barbados in the areas of social democracy, social development, inclusion and education. In this regard, he spoke to the need for training and student exchange at the university level, and scholarships in disciplines including care of the elderly and gerontology, psychiatry and clinical and social work.

In response, Sir Lloyd pledged to work assiduously to give voice to the policies of the Barbados Government, particularly with regard to the further development of the Constituency Councils and the provision of a social safety net for the less fortunate.

Sir Lloyd is scheduled to take up his diplomatic post in September.

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