Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr. David Estwick (left), greeting New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Barbados, Andrew Needs, during a courtesy call at the Ministry. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Issues relating to innovation in agriculture, double taxation and technical cooperation, were the areas discussed, when New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Barbados, Andrew Needs, paid a courtesy call on Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr. David Estwick.

During the meeting at the Division of Trade, Industry and Commerce, last Friday, the officials exchanged information about their respective countries and identified areas where the relationship could be strengthened.

Dr. Estwick explained: "Innovation demonstrates our commitment to re-define our business sector with a thrust along the lines of better use of science and technology.?? So, we have a research culture not only from the university side, but in the area of chronic disease and medicine.

"But we have not been able to evolve that research towards products and we are trying to find the nexus with the University of the West Indies, the National Council for Science and Technology and the business sector, to assist in the creation of new products."

With respect to expanding economic opportunities, the Government Minister hinted at fostering closer ties with New Zealand in areas of agriculture and alternative energy.?? Regarding the former, he disclosed that the time had come for the region to move away from primary production to adopting modern modalities.

"The emphasis on tourism did not allow for the simultaneous development of niche manufacturing or agri-processing techniques.?? So, we are looking to see how we can move this type of diversification along…," Dr. Estwick added.

New Zealand and Barbados established diplomatic ties in 1974.

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