Barbados and Guyana have a long history of collaboration and will continue to work together on a number of programmes and initiatives which would be beneficial to both countries.

That was the opinion of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, as she delivered the feature address at a recent reception in honour of the Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guyana, Carl Greenidge, at the Accra Beach Resort, Accra, Christ Church.

Speaking on the eve of the signing of the Third Barbados-Guyana Joint Commission, Senator McClean pointed out that the scheduled talks would give representatives from both countries the opportunity to engage ???at the highest level??? in discussions relevant to a number of major sectors earmarked for cooperation.

She highlighted the Santa Fe Mega Farm in Region Nine, which is owned by a Barbadian company, as an example of a good collaborative effort between the two countries, and suggested that other similar efforts should be contemplated.

???Prime Minister Stuart in his opening address to the 36th Conference of Heads, posed the question: ???For how much longer are we going to repeat that with the lands of Guyana, of Belize and now also of Suriname, we have a veritable breadbasket of the Caribbean???? The Joint Commission is the mechanism through which we can put forward ideas and move those ideas into action. Your presence and that of your delegation constitute yet another step that we are taking to move these ideas forward,??? she stressed.

The Minister added that other collaboration between the countries included scholarships provided by the Guyana School of Agriculture to Barbadian students and an internship at the Crane Beach Resort for seven students from Guyana.

Vice President Greenidge agreed that the two countries had extensive links which were not always fully appreciated, noting that they began many years ago when Barbadian sugar cane planters moved to Guyana and established plantations in the Demerara and elsewhere.

According to him, the connection is still very strong, whether it is familial or business-related, and should be instrumental in achieving the goals set out in the Third Joint Commission.

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