Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, is expecting the island to benefit from a list of contacts and networking opportunities which were garnered at the recently concluded Barbados Network Consultation 3rd Diaspora Conference.

Addressing participants on the opening day of the conference, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, the Minister told her audience that these contacts would provide opportunities for personal, corporate and future business development.

In turn, Senator McClean expects Barbadians living overseas to forge relationships with local agencies, government departments, organisations and individuals to pursue future opportunities.

Senator McClean said the BNC, coordinated under the framework of the Council for Investment, Exports, Foreign Exchange and the Diaspora, said deepening the relationship between Barbados and the diaspora was its number one priority.

???People at home would say that they have heard very little of this entity but I have sought to shape a mechanism intended not to thrive on meetings and bureaucratic procedures, but one which meets to take action,??? she explained.

She said the BNC programme, which included two workshops on ancestry, would equip participants with the skills to trace their family tree. Of equal importance, she said was the session entitled: Technology Pathways to Economic Development which was designed to expose the island???s youth to ???the critical disciplines of science technology, engineering and mathematics and their application in innovative and entrepreneurial ways???.

Senator McClean thanked the sponsors for their commitment to the success of the event. ???My ministry prepared an exciting programme with consultations with our missions oversees and representatives of the Barbadian family across the diaspora. This was made possible by the use of tele and video conferences???utilising our state-of-the-art conferencing facilities at capital and in our missions,??? she said.

Senator McClean further stated: ???We have also included a special focus on Panama, the Barbadian American Cancer Society (BACA) and BACA Barbados and the Barbados Diaspora Collaborative USA.”??

The BNC 2014 3rd Diaspora Conference was held from August 5-7.

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