At right centre, Barbados’ Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development Denis Kellman, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Bentley Gibbs; (right foreground) and Barbados’ Ambassador to Washington John Beale; in discussion with (at left) Chief of Staff in the Ministry of Forieign Trade in Costa Rica, Irene Arguedas; Minister of Foreign Trade, Anabel Gonzalez; and other officials during a meeting today in San Jose at the Costa Rican Ministry. (F.Ince/BGIS)

The green economy and trade featured prominently in discussions today when Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, met with Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Trade, Anabel Gonzalez, at her San Jose office.

Minister Kellman said Barbados could help Costa Rica strengthen its green economy by supplying solar energy to the country. He noted that Solaris Energy, a solar company in Barbados, was part of the trade mission and business people in the South American country had expressed great interest in the Barbadian product.

He stated: "We are hoping we can create some synergies and hold each other’s hand. Two-way trade is always good and we certainly have some products and services we can trade with each other."

Minister Gonzalez expressed the view that the green economy would bring additional opportunities for many countries. She also stated that there was great potential for increased trade between Costa Rica and CARICOM, adding it would benefit both parties.

She told Minister Kellman that 30 years ago, Costa Rica’s exports were mainly agricultural produce, but pointed out that a decision was taken in the early ???80s to diversify the country’s economy.

During the talks, they agreed on a four point follow up that relates to advancing the negotiations for a double taxation agreement, removing existing constraints on a deeper trade relationship, identifying products and services that both countries wish to trade in, and promoting the CARICOM-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement.

Those attending the meeting included Barbados’ Ambassador to Washington, with responsibility for Panama and Costa Rica, John Beale; Permanent Secretary in the Division of Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Bentley Gibbs; and Director of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation, Sonja Trotman.


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