Prime Minister Freundel Stuart held wide-ranging talks on Wednesday with Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Roberto Azev??do, at Government Headquarters.

Mr. Stuart commended the Director-General, saying it was evident that he was trying very hard to make a difference at the WTO and ensure the organization assisted countries such as Barbados.

He stressed, however, that the WTO had to balance its interests so as to convince small and vulnerable countries that its system was working for them since they were not feeling the impact.

Mr. Azev??do said it was important to maintain dialogue with Barbados and expressed the hope that the relations would deepen. He added that despite the challenges, ways must be found to assist in closing the gap between developed and developing countries.

Also attending the courtesy call were Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean; Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister???s Office, Sonja Welch; and Senior Advisor to the Director-General, Tatiana Lacerda Prazeres.

The Director-General is currently on an official visit to the Caribbean. Prior to his visit to Barbados, he held talks in Jamaica with senior government representatives and delivered a speech at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.

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