COVID-19 Press Conference – March 13, 2021 (PMO)

The diplomatic relations between Barbados and China have grown stronger during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Chair of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on COVID-19, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott, said China has continued to provide support to Barbados in its fight against the novel coronavirus through donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other items.

Speaking during a live media conference this evening, the Minister said China was one major global economy that had continued on its growth path throughout 2020 and is expected to continue on this accelerated path during this year.

Senator Walcott added that Asia as a whole had shown great resilience and leadership during the pandemic, and it was “for these reasons, it remains the policy of this Government to continue the strengthening and deepening of our diplomatic relations with the countries of this region”.

“For example, in 2019, I signed an agreement with China regarding cooperation in the implementation of China’s Belt and Road initiative, a global infrastructure development programme, which will enable us to upgrade and build out our physical infrastructure. We are also looking towards deepening our cooperation in the area of public health, with the support of medical teams coming from China. These are just two examples of how this valuable relationship with China continues to grow from strength to strength,” the Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister underlined.

Regarding Barbados’ expansion of its diplomatic reach in Asia, Senator Walcott shared that for the first time in decades, Barbados appointed a Barbadian Honorary Consul in Tokyo, Japan, last year. 

Additionally, he said approval had been granted for Barbados’ Ambassador in Beijing to be accredited on a non-resident basis to Japan, which the Minister described as a “very important bilateral partner”.

The Foreign Affairs Minister also disclosed that this country is working on accrediting the Embassy in Beijing to Singapore, South Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand “to develop relationships with these dynamic countries and to provide more opportunities for Barbadian goods and services in those markets”.

“Barbados’ gratitude for the generosity and solidarity of India, in the ongoing provision of technical cooperation, and most recently, 100,000 units of the Covishield vaccine, as well as PPE for our fight against COVID is a matter of public record. And I take this opportunity to reaffirm our deepest appreciation to India,” he stated.

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