Prime Minister David Thompson greets Ambassador of Sweden to Barbados, Sten Ask (at left), as Chief of Protocol, Hughland Allman (centre) looks on.
Barbados and Sweden currently enjoy excellent relations, but there are opportunities to further strengthen those ties, especially in areas such as information technology and tourism.
This observation was made today by the Ambassador of Sweden to Barbados, Sten Ask, during a courtesy call on Prime Minister David Thompson.
Mr. Ask pointed out that Sweden had been considered the leading nation in the area of information technology for three consecutive years and could therefore share some of its skills with Barbados.
With respect to tourism, the Ambassador noted that there had been a decrease in the number of Swedes visiting Barbados due to the absence of a direct flight between the two countries. He described Barbados as one of the most stable countries in the Caribbean, and suggested that more marketing could be done to promote it as a tourist destination.
Prime Minister David Thompson and Ambassador of Sweden to Barbados, Sten Ask, discuss areas of mutual interest during a courtesy call.
Prime Minister Thompson agreed, and, given the existence of an air services agreement between the two nations, stressed the need to “get some form of airlift to Sweden”.
He also noted that traditionally, Barbados’ commercial and tourism efforts had been focused on Britain and Canada. However, he told Mr. Ask that the European Partnership Agreement would provide opportunities for Barbados to promote and sell services more actively in Europe.
Mr. Thompson added that there was a lot that Sweden could teach the world and that Barbados could learn, especially in the areas of social services and human development.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister and the Swedish envoy also discussed the future of Barbados’ sugar industry, ethanol production and student exchanges.
Barbados and Sweden established diplomatic relations in 1976, and signed a double taxation agreement in 1991.