Barbados remains committed to deepening its relationship with the People's Republic of China. This assurance came from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, as he welcomed an official delegation from China, led by Vice Minister of Commerce, Zhong Shan. Barbadian officials in attendance included Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, and senior Government officials.
Mr. Stuart described the relationship between both countries, which dates back to 1977, as a "maturing" one. "Over time, we have seen that relationship deepen to the benefit of both sides. Barbados is committed to the continual deepening of that relationship and we feel assured that China is similarly disposed," he stated.
He added that Barbados had received many delegations from the People's Republic of China and had benefitted greatly from those exchanges. Mr. Shan described Barbados as "an old friend of the Chinese people" and said his country was appreciative of all the contributions this island had made to develop the bilateral relations.
He continued: "Our trade relations deepen every year and during our discussions with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, [Senator] Maxine McClean, we agreed that we have to further strengthen our relationship. The purpose of my visit this time is to strengthen our trade relations and expand our cooperation. We are willing to expand our current relations...and to import more goods from Barbados."
He pointed out that his Government was encouraging Chinese companies to invest in Barbados. He added that China was willing to work with Barbados in various areas, including tourism, the commercial sector and agriculture. The substantive talks with the visiting delegation were led on the Barbados side by Foreign Minister, Senator Maxine McClean.