Barbados??? newest ambassador to China, Dr. Chelston Brathwaite, has thrown out a challenge to representatives in China on a three-week seminar to transform the information and contacts obtained into tangible and mutually beneficial trade and commercial outcomes.

He made these comments recently at an official opening ceremony for 20 Barbadian public and private representatives undertaking a course on doing business in China. It was organised by the Academy for International Business Officials (AIBO) in Beijing.

Ambassador Brathwaite noted that meetings held with Barbadian private sector companies prior to his taking up official duties in China, had pointed to some existing challenges in doing business with that country. He, therefore, expressed the hope that one of the key outcomes of the seminar would be to come up with solutions that could address these challenges, while identifying new opportunities for the expansion of business ties.

Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) and head of the Barbados delegation, Dr. Leroy McClean, said the three-week visit presented a remarkable opportunity for participants to capture first-hand insights on doing business with China. He further described the specialised seminar, the first of its kind hosted for Barbadian economic and trade officials, as ???a significant plank in strengthening trade relations between the two countries???.

In expressing his appreciation to AIBO and the People???s Republic of China, for hosting the Barbadian contingent, Dr. McClean mentioned the rapid growth in the volume of trade between Barbados and China within the last decade, and pointed out that there is scope for enhanced relations in sectors such as culture, education, tourism, agriculture, water resource management and renewable energy.

The 20-member Barbados delegation comprises representatives from the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation; the Ministry of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development; The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; Invest Barbados; the Customs and Excise Department; the Central Bank of Barbados; the Barbados National Standards Institution; the Barbados Tourism Authority; The Barbados Coalition of Services Industries; the Barbados Institute of Management & Productivity; the Barbados Private Sector Trade Team and four of Barbados??? leading manufacturing firms: Lenstec, Roberts Manufacturing, Armstrong Agencies and Jays Enterprises.

During the seminar, delegates will meet with senior representatives from the Chinese public and private sectors, visit sites in Fujian province and participate in networking sessions with potential Chinese commercial partners.

Author: Theresa Blackman/BIDC

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