Barbados is keenly optimistic about deepening its relationship with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has identified a number of areas in which collaboration can be fruitful.
The Prime Minister and Ambassador Sandor Marnix Raphaël Varga van Kibéd en Makfalva held wide-ranging talks during a courtesy call at Ilaro Court, recently. He was accompanied by Honorary Consul for the Netherlands, Anthony Gittens.
Ms. Mottley told the Ambassador that Barbados was keen to work with the Netherlands in port operations and logistics and maritime transport, given his country’s excellent reputation in this area.
She also expressed an interest in cooperation on water management issues. The Prime Minister said the Netherlands had excelled in this area and Barbados could benefit from technical assistance to tackle these issues.
Ambassador Varga van Kibéd en Makfalva expressed his desire to conclude a double taxation agreement between the two countries. He also praised CARICOM for its stance on the Russia/Ukraine crisis, pointing to the rising prices worldwide.
Prime Minister Mottley expressed a similar view and pointed out that “war in any form or fashion is not good”, since it was problematic for the island’s food and energy prices and securing finances.
“We are going to face all of the consequences frontally, and that is why getting bilateral cooperation and getting multilateral cooperation where we can is so critical to being able to help us in manoeuvring our way through,” she stated.
Other areas discussed included agriculture and the importance of reducing Barbados’ food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025 and initiatives to effect this; Aruba and Curacao’s joining of CARICOM; the financing of a fast ferry and a traditional ferry service, renewable energy, and the proposed setting up of embassies in the two countries.