|Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, chatting with Ambassador of the French Republic to Barbados, Michel Trinquier during the meeting. (A. Gaskin/BGIS)|
Barbados has been encouraged to continue pursuing relations and enhancing cooperation with the French Caribbean.
This appeal has come from the outgoing Ambassador of the French Republic to Barbados, Michel Trinquier, during a farewell courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean at her Ministry’s headquarters in Culloden Road, St. Michael.
Expressing his pleasure to have worked with the Government of Barbados, the French envoy, who is based in Trinidad, noted that, "although Martinique and Guadeloupe are French, their future was with the region and we want them to have relations with the [rest of the] Caribbean."
In acknowledgement, Minister McClean further stressed the importance of maintaining that relationship, while pointing out that advances were being made in business cooperation with the help of regional support agency, Caribbean Export.??
She said that entrepreneurship was an area that could benefit from increased collaboration.?? "Barbados is seeking to build trade relations and [develop] joint projects with the French Caribbean through international bodies such as the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture," Minister McClean emphasised, adding that those islands could "provide a door to the motherland."
The outgoing French diplomat observed that the signing of a treaty for Maritime limitations and the removal of visa requirements for citizens of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago to travel between the French Caribbean and their homelands were among some of his achievements during his tour of duty.
"There has been an increase in travel [since then] and tremendous increase in exchanges between people of Barbados and Martinique and Guadeloupe," the French Ambassador said, adding that two Barbadian teachers were also sent to those islands to teach English.
Lauding these accomplishments, Minister McClean expressed gratitude for France’s assistance to Barbados in maritime issues.?? Taking the opportunity to practise her French, she wished Ambassador Trinquier "Bon Voyage".??