Barbados and Switzerland are committed to building stronger ties by forging links through the tourism and hospitality sectors.

This was one of the talking points when Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, received a recent courtesy call from the Swiss Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Sabine Ulmann Shaban.

Commenting on Switzerland???s diverse and vibrant culture, the Minister noted that Switzerland had quietly and steadfastly built up a good hospitality industry that Barbados could work with, as the island sought to attract people from all over the world.

He singled out the field of foreign languages as one in which Barbados could benefit through its relations with Switzerland.

The Swiss Ambassador acknowledged that the two countries shared a common interest in tourism and stressed ???it was important to create synergies within the sector.??? She pointed out that one way this could be achieved was through student exchanges.

The Minister also took the opportunity to speak about Switzerland???s ???great work in the Pharmaceutical sector???. He pointed out that it was an area that was not often spoken about as the world had not recognised ???the number of great pharmaceutical inventions derived from Switzerland.???

Indicating that Barbados was a mere purchaser, and not developer of pharmaceuticals, the Minister stated it was his hope that there would be a collaborative effort between the pharmaceutical divisions in Switzerland and the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, particularly in the areas that confronted our society such as chronic non-communicable diseases.

Issues relating to Intellectual Property, the Financial Services Sector and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development were also discussed.

Barbados and Switzerland established diplomatic ties on March 4, 1980.

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