Renewable energy was a major talking point when Switzerland???s new Ambassador to Barbados, Sabine Ulmann Shaban paid a courtesy call on Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Steve Blackett.

Minister Blackett welcomed the Ambassador and acknowledged that the two countries were very much alike in terms of their resources and the fact that they were dealing with the economic situation.

Noting that Barbados was putting in place, measures to deal with renewable energy, he said: ???We???re heavily dependent on fossil fuel to drive our energy here???and we are also on the cusp of rolling out our wind energy programme. We already have the use of solar energy here in Barbados and of course we are also considering waste to energy, converting our garbage to energy.???

The Swiss Ambassador, in commending Barbados??? efforts, noted that Switzerland???s principal form of energy came from hydroelectricity.

She also informed the Minister that Switzerland had diversified its tourism offerings to include sports tourism, spa tourism and health tourism, among others. ???It is very important to diversify and not to rely on one field or product,??? she told the Acting Minister while noting that it was ???very difficult??? given the economic situation.

Acknowledging that Barbados had always maintained good relations with Switzerland, both officials agreed that there could be collaboration with respect to renewable energy and the hospitality industry.

Barbados and Switzerland established diplomatic ties on March 4, 1981.

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