Ambassador of the Republic of Slovakia, Ladislav Straka, is impressed with Barbados??? infrastructural development, banking system, transportation and telcommunications sectors.

He praised the government for its prudent management of these and other areas during a recent courtesy call with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, at Government Headquarters.

During the meeting, Ambassador Straka said he was keen to pursue investment opportunities with Barbados given its stability, and he also promised to push tourism as an important element of the bilateral relationship.

He said there were about one million undecided tourists in Europe who used to spend their vacations in destinations such as Egypt and Thailand, but no longer do so because of safety concerns.

???These undecided people in Central Europe, which includes Hungary, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia ??? are looking for a new destination. As I can see, you have a good banking system, good telecommunications service and the transportation system is very efficient. But more importantly, the island has a low crime rate per capita, so the people can come here for a holiday without fearing that they will lose their passports, money and credit cards and this is a very important point,??? Ambassador Straka stated.

In turn, Senator McClean commended the Ambassador for raising some ???excellent initiatives??? and mentioned the importance of concluding a double taxation agreement with Slovakia.

She also commended Slovakia???s intention to invest in Barbados and promised to raise the issue with the relevant government departments to facilitate that visit of Slovak investors.

The Foreign Minister added: ???There are a number of areas in which we could also look to explore people-to-people exchanges???. The cultural industries are a major [area] and I presume there may be some festivals in your country that we could look to. So, we have to fully flesh it out.???

Barbados established diplomatic ties with the Republic of Slovakia in 1994.

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