Acting Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, is pictured in discusion with New Zealand’s newly appointed High Commissioner to Barbados, Andrew Needs. The envoy presented his Letters of Credence to Mr. Stuart today during a courtesy call at Government Headquarters. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Barbados and New Zealand plan to improve their diplomatic ties.

This was underscored today when New Zealand’s High Commissioner Designate, Andrew Needs presented Letters of Credence to acting Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart.

The ceremony took place during a courtesy call at Government Headquarters.

Mr. Stuart welcomed the envoy to Barbados and expressed a desire to see relations between the two nations strengthened even further. In light of this, he mentioned the possibility of concluding a double taxation treaty and having cooperation in the agricultural sector.

The acting Prime Minister indicated that he wanted to see the freer movement of people between Barbados and New Zealand and stated this could be achieved by having the restrictions on visas eased.

In turn, Mr. Needs said he was looking forward to his posting as High Commissioner. He disclosed that his country was now going through "an offshore footprint review" to determine the feasibility of maintaining an increased presence in certain areas. ??

Other issues discussed included the regional judicial system and the role of the Caribbean Court of Justice, protecting coastlines and global economic concerns.

Barbados and New Zealand established diplomatic ties on July 4, 1974.

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