When ordinary people trade their goods and services, it does much to support the realisation of regional food security, Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley told the local private sector on Sunday.
Mottley said that trade will be occurring in an environment threatened by climate changes as she addressed a reception hosted by Gaico, one of the participating local companies in the 2022 International Energy Conference and Expo Guyana.
“It will be assured when ordinary people trade when ordinary people buy and sell goods and services among each other.”
Mottley believes Guyana and Barbados must find new areas of opportunities for trade but said achieving food security is of utmost importance.
It is for this reason that Barbados’ Agriculture Minister, Chief Agriculture Officer, Permanent Secretary and producers are among the 14-member delegation in Guyana for the conference.
The visit will also seek to forge new opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in several other areas. This approach to improving cooperation has the full support of President Dr Irfaan Ali.
Mottley has been campaigning against climate change and uses every opportunity to have crucial talks in the advocacy of change. On Sunday night she said that achieving food security is an important part of the fight against climate change.
“As we fight the climate crisis and for those of us like Barbados that are water-scarce countries and whose capacity to be able to achieve food and nutritional security is compromised, then our ability to maximize the technologies opportunities that exist in today’s world is an absolute necessity,” Mottley said.
Mottley explained that for years Guyana and Barbados have held talks about improving connectivity with the two countries, but the visit this week can finally lay the groundwork for this becoming a reality.
The Prime Minister said Guyanese must also seek opportunities beyond oil and gas and as such the Barbados delegation will be discussing projects for the continued expansion of gold and other minerals, tourism and hospitality training.
Other areas of cooperation include public sector capacity building, education, health care and importantly agriculture, food and nutritional security.
“And all of these things come together to be able to allow us to complement each other,” Mottley stated.
Meanwhile, Guyana’s President Dr Irfaan Ali applauded Mottley’s approach to improving cooperation with the two countries.
“I am very pleased that Prime Minister Mottley not only came here but came with the intention to do personal, intentional and direct work and her style is exactly what we like – a direct contact,” President Ali said.
Guyana and Barbados are working to establish a policy framework that will see more cooperation, the removal of barriers for trade for both movements of products and people.
“For Barbados and Guyana, we want to build a model of success for the rest of CARICOM and that model of success must be able to address important issues and challenges we are all facing, whether it is climate change whether it is environmental issues, water scarcity, food security, renewable energy and more importantly how do we ensure we support each other so that our economies can withstand global shocks,” President Ali stated.
Further, President Ali said there must be no boundaries with the Barbados delegation this week.