Barbados is re-engaging the interest of second and third generation Barbadians of the diaspora.

Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, David Bulbulia, disclosed this during an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service recently.

Stating that it was extremely important for this country to have a strong relationship with its diaspora, Mr. Bulbulia pointed out that it represented a large market pool for Barbadian businesses at home and abroad.??

Moreover, he said: "They make a substantial contribution to the Barbadian economy via direct remittances and also through investment in housings, lands and business."

But, according to him: "Engaging the diaspora is simply the right thing to do".

Mr. Bulbulia added: "Many countries have recognised the value of their diaspora and of maintaining the interest of their nationals overseas in what is happening at home."??

Hence, he noted, this is one of the reasons for targeting the youth for this island’s second biennial Diaspora Conference – the Barbados Network Consultation 2012.??

Being held under the theme, Linking Generations, Embracing Our Youth, the senior Foreign Affairs official explained: "It is recognised that there is a drift or separation that occurs over the years between Barbadians of the second and third generations [and their connection to the island].?? So, we are particularly targeting that group to re-engage their interest in Barbados."??

The Barbados Network Consultation 2012 will take place from August 7 to 10 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, but will also feature a number of off-site social and recreational activities.

Mr. Bulbulia also stated that many of the events are youth oriented, such as the Creative Economy Showcase and Career Forum.?? The former will include artistic showcases from Barbadians living at home and abroad in film, photography, art and music, while the Career Forum will expose young Barbadians to a variety of job options and opportunities at home and overseas.??

Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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