Former Prime Minister, Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford, has been named Ambassador–designate to head this country’s embassy in China when it is officially established later this year.

Prime Minister David Thompson made the announcement late today during talks with China’s Premier, Wen Jiabao, in the Great Hall of the People. He said Barbados proposed to open a mission in the Orient before the end of the year, in view of the importance attached to that region and particularly China’s standing and prominence in world affairs and commerce, as well as its relations with Barbados.

“We as a nation and as a region do lots of trade with China and as such the time has come for us to establish a permanent presence in that country,” the Prime Minister said.

He opined that “Sir Lloyd would be of great assistance in strengthening our thrust in human resource development, which China has identified as an area it can assist with.”

Premier Wen observed that Sir Lloyd was “an old friend of China.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Thompson has invited Premier Wen to pay an official visit to Barbados. This comes on the heels of an outstanding invitation from Premier Wen for Mr. Thompson to attend the opening of this year’s Summer Olympic Games in China.

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