There are several opportunities for Barbados and China to strengthen diplomatic relations by collaborating on various upcoming projects and initiatives.

This follows a courtesy call between Ambassador of the People???s Republic of China, Wang Ke, and Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, Senator Dr. Esther Byer.

Meeting this morning at the Minister???s Warrens office, the two officials discussed tackling the issue of youth unemployment in Barbados.

Senator Byer suggested the development of a youth apprenticeship programme, where young persons could obtain on-the-job training by working on Chinese construction projects in Barbados.

The Chinese Ambassador was very keen on this suggestion and readily agreed, stating that she would encourage such a programme as it would ???lend to frequent cultural exchanges???.

Ambassador Wang also noted that assistance could be lent to the University of the West Indies (UWI) in their Language Department.

She pointed out: ???I know a Confucius Institute is going to be set up where they can offer more chances to teach Chinese to Barbadians, and this would not only benefit the students but also people from the community.???

Other matters discussed included the Student Programme for Innovation in Science and Engineering, which includes a course in Mandarin, as well as possible collaboration between the People’s Republic of China and other Government ministries.

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