Prime Minister David Thompson
Meetings with United Kingdom (UK) investors will be high on Prime Minister David Thompson’s agenda when he visits that country later this month.
The Prime Minister made this disclosure today at a farewell courtesy call with British High Commissioner Duncan Taylor.
Mr. Thompson explained that the aim of those meetings would be "to go armed with information on each of the projects which have been identified by British investors for which concessions may have been given … and to sit down with them and see how we can get those plans back on course".
He noted that there were a number of projects which had been started and were stopped, others which were still in the gestation stages, and some that had to be redesigned because of the current economic circumstances.
The Prime Minister also said that the controversial issue of the airline passenger duty, which was a serious threat to regional tourism, would also be discussed during talks with Barbados’ major airline partners in the UK.
"Last year at this time and earlier this year, I met with the Caribbean High Commissioners in London, and other officials of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to express our concern about the duty and its impact on us; and how the arbitrary drawing of a line which would give an advantage to certain states in the USA and a disadvantage to capitals in the Caribbean," Mr. Thompson remarked.
?? Outgoing High Commissioner Taylor told the Prime Minister that the issue had been brought to the attention of the UK government, with the diaspora being active in voicing their concerns.
He also thanked Prime Minister Thompson for the collaboration between the two countries in the area of narcotics trafficking. He said: "The drugs are often destined for the UK and working together to try to make it more difficult for the organised criminal groups to do their business, is a key interest and will remain so."
He also commended Mr. Thompson for the support government had given to the UK’s climate change programmes. Pointing out that a high level summit on the issue was scheduled for New York next week, Mr. Taylor stressed that while it would be challenging to get a global agreement, every effort would be made to do so. ????????????????
"There is an important role for small vulnerable states like Barbados which are likely to be hardest hit by the impact of climate change. [They] have a key role in raising their voice to put pressure on us in the developed world. We … have already seen evidence of small island developing states suffering from the impact of hurricanes," the British High Commissioner stated.
Mr. Taylor leaves Barbados soon to assume duties as Governor of the Cayman Islands.