Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean believes that??there are further opportunities for technical assistance as well as trade with Latin America. (FP)??

A delegation from Colombia is currently in Barbados to discuss arrangements for a technical cooperation project between the two countries aimed at strengthening Barbados’ creative industries.

The initiative stems from a proposal put to the Government of Colombia in August, last year, by the Embassy of Barbados in Caracas and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC).

The visiting team is headed by Fernando Nivia and comprises officials from the South-South Cooperation Department of the Ministry of External Relations of Colombia, SENA and the Artesanias de Colombia Corporation.

The project is expected to position the creative sector to contribute to Barbados’ national goal of increased exports by strengthening and expanding the technical skills of artisans, jewellers and leather workers here.?? It should also advance product development among them by exploring more creative uses of local organic materials, enhancing production and finishing techniques.

As part of the three-day diagnostic mission, some training sessions have been organised and talks are expected to extend to possible assistance which the Colombians may offer the BIDC in establishing a green tannery. The creative industries is valued at an estimated US$1.3 trillion globally. Colombia’s outstanding craftsmanship and success in the artisanal sector are amongst the main considerations for targeting their expertise.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, is of the view that there are further opportunities for technical assistance as well as trade with Latin America. She has noted that the Missions in Caracas and Brazil are continuously exploring those opportunities and with specific regard to the creative and cultural industries, she expressed the hope that there will be further collaboration with other countries in South America.??

Minister McClean also disclosed that her Ministry is currently examining a project idea from the Mission at Caracas for market orientation activities between private sector stakeholders in Barbados and South America.????

Chief Executive Officer of the BIDC, Dr. Leroy McClean, is looking forward to the implementation of this technical cooperation initiative with Colombia. He is particularly keen about the prospects for skills development in the tanning and use of Black Belly leather, in applying new techniques to the use of local fibres, and about the possible exposure to new materials from Colombia.



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