Prime Minister Thompson in a tête-à-tête with Mexican Ambassador to Barbados, Ricardo Villanueva Hallal.

The Barbados Government is keen and very interested in developing and promoting the country’s cultural industries.

Prime Minister David Thompson told this to the new Mexican Ambassador to Barbados, Ricardo Villanueva Hallal, during a meeting at Ilaro Court today. Mr. Thompson said there would be a new thrust in this sector which was an integral part of the island’s economy.

He said he was also interested in the possibility of cultural exchanges and technical cooperation between the two countries to foster closer ties. He specifically alluded to the need for local entrepreneurs to become au fait with the Spanish language, since, as he put it, “the difference in language presents a challenge to persons from the region doing business in Latin America”.

Ambassador Hallal, who is based in Trinidad and Tobago, echoed the Prime Minister’s sentiments, observing that improved relations between Barbados and Mexico, as well as between Mexico and CARICOM, would redound to the benefit of the region.

During the talks, it was revealed that a Double Taxation Agreement between the two countries is “ready for signing”.

Barbados and Mexico are members of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and the Organisation of American States (OAS). Formal diplomatic ties were established in 1972.

 Prime Minister David Thompson and Mrs. Jennifer Astaphan during today’s talks.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Thompson also held talks today with the Executive Director of the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD), Jennifer Astaphan, during a courtesy call. They discussed wide-ranging public sector matters, including the rate of public sector reform in the region, training, the possibility of a regional Civil Service College, a harmonized civil service code of ethics, leadership development and CSME.

As one of its missions, CARICAD has a mandate to facilitate the transformation and modernization of CARICOM public services, while enabling them to deliver quality service in a changing global environment.

Mrs. Astaphan is based in Barbados.

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