Guyana, Barbados mull joint effort to tackle regional food import bill
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President Dr. Irfaan Ali in conversation with the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley (Office of the President)
President Dr. Irfaan Ali in conversation with the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley (Office of the President)

UTILISING the agricultural potential of Guyana and Barbados to reduce the regional food import bill and enhance food security plans were among the plethora of opportunities discussed when President Dr. Irfaan Ali met with Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, on Tuesday.

During a meeting at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Conference Centre, Bridgetown, Barbados, President Ali and his Barbados counterpart discussed the possibility of enhanced co-operation in agriculture and fisheries, oil and gas, mining, forestry, tourism, the hospitality industry, transportation, housing and water resources.

Both President Ali and Prime Minister Mottley alluded to their desire for a new paradigm in the relations between Guyana and Barbados that would allow the peoples of both countries to benefit from an expanded programme of co-operation.

They expressed a determination to succeed with a model for the region built on enhanced trust and cutting through bureaucracy to achieve their objectives within the shortest possible time for implementation.

Significant attention was paid to exploring how the agriculture potential of Guyana and Barbados could be utilised to reduce food importation bills as part of the overall regional food security plans.

It was agreed that a monitoring mechanism would be put in place to oversee the implementation of an action plan.
Counterpart meetings were also held at the ministerial level and between the private sector representatives of both countries with a view to advancing the decisions of the Heads of Government of Guyana and Barbados.

The Heads of Government encouraged the members of their private sectors to become more aggressive in taking advantage of the opportunities that should be seen not as competitive but providing a measure of complementarity that would be a win-win for both sides. They stressed the urgency with which both countries needed to move forward.

President Ali expressed his sincere appreciation to Prime Minister Mottley for the warm welcome that he received and for the kind hospitality extended to him and his delegation by the people of Barbados.

Prime Minister Mottley also conveyed her sincere gratitude to President Ali for travelling to Barbados with his delegation to attend the UNCTAD 15 opening session and for engaging in substantive talks with her and her delegation.

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