Barbados y Guatemala repasan agenda bilateral

Barbados and Guatemala explore ties

The impact of drugs on societies and the management of UNESCO heritage sites were among the areas discussed when Guatemala’s ambassador, Giovanni Castillo, paid a courtesy call on Barbados minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, Senator Maxine McClean.

During the meeting, they discussed a range of diplomatic issues aimed at strengthening the existing ties between the two countries. The ambassador also mentioned the importance of the upcoming Organization of American States (OAS) Special General Assembly on Drugs in his country.

In this connection, McClean said the Assembly was “sufficiently important for us not only nationally but hemispherically [because] the issue of drugs is so critical given its negative impact on the development of our economies.”

Barbados and Guatemala established diplomatic ties on January 27, 1992.

Meanwhile, the signing of a double taxation agreement (DTA) between Barbados and Guatemala could help to facilitate greater business interests being exploited between the two countries.

Minister of industry, international business, commerce and small business development, Donville Inniss, stated that Barbados prided itself as being a country that is very attractive for international business and financial services, and proof of this was the fact that of the many companies from all over the world who used this country as their headquarters or had established a corporate structure here. The minister told the ambassador that Barbados certainly recognised Guatemala as a country with which they would want to have a DTA.

“We see this as a way of naturally creating the kind of environment to facilitate more investment, we see it as one where some foreign direct investment going into Guatemala through Barbados because of our network of treaties with other countries, for example China, Canada and the United Kingdom… It also helps to facilitate Guatemalan business people who may opt to come into places like Barbados and do business,” he explained.

The business minister further pointed out that once we have the DTA and a bilateral investment treaty for the protection of assets in place it would create the right environment for people to do business and this was an area that should be pursued.

In turn, the ambassador agreed and said he would welcome the opportunity for the two countries to work closer together given their long and rich history. In addition, Castillo indicated that once all the formalities were exchanged it was important to get the dialogue going.