Barbados to continue talks on free trade with Canada

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Januray 24, 2008 – The new government of Barbados will continue talks with Canada on a number of bilateral issues, including the implementation of a free trade agreement between the two countries.

That indication was given by newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade & International Business, Christopher Sinckler during his first official visit as Minister from Canada’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs & International Trade, Helena Guergis. She is in Barbados leading a Canadian trade mission of businesswomen as part of celebrations to commemorate the centenary of the establishment of the Canadian commercial trade office in Barbados.  

During the meeting the Ministers discussed a number of bilateral issues of mutual importance including the proposed CARICOM/Canada Free Trade Agreement, the Barbados/Canada Double Taxation Agreement and the draft Air Services Agreement, which was initialled in December 2007 and is currently awaiting final approval by both sides. 

Once approved, this Agreement will replace the 1985 Air Services Agreement between the two countries and is expected to play an important role in strengthening air links and tourism.  

Minister Sinckler expressed pleasure at the level of support that Barbados has received from Canada over the years and said that he welcomed continued cooperation between the two countries especially in the area of financial services. 

Canada was one of the first countries with which Barbados established formal diplomatic relations when it became independent on 1966.