Matters pertaining to tourism, the importance of an efficient transportation system and alternative energy initiatives, were among the areas discussed, when Belgium Ambassador, Godelieve Van Der Bergh, paid a courtesy call on Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Steve Blackett.

During the call at the Ministry???s Culloden Road, St. Michael office, the two officials exchanged a range of ideas aimed at improving diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In the area of alternative energy, Minister Blackett said Barbados was about to launch the alternative energy industry and explained: ???We have a history of about 30 years of generating our own hot water from the sun. But, we are looking at other areas of alternative energy and that is one of the pieces of legislation that we will soon be introducing to Parliament to enable Government and the private sector to be involved very heavily in wind energy, wave energy because the island???s dependence on fossil fuels is quite heavy.???

He also alluded to the proposed pipeline project between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago that is expected to further reduce the country???s fuel bill. Mr. Blackett said the pipeline would not only serve Barbados, but other countries such as Grenada, St. Vincent and St. Lucia.

In turn, the Ambassador said Belgium had been using alternative energy sources for quite some time and was pleased that Barbados was adopting such methods given the spiralling costs associated with the use of fossil fuels.

The Acting Foreign Affairs Minister also raised the issue of the still to be concluded Double Taxation Agreement between the two countries.
Ambassador Van Der Bergh said that he would look into the matter given its importance to future diplomatic relations.

Barbados and Belgium established diplomatic relations in October 1970.

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