EU Told Regional Integration Critical to CARICOM
With head of the delegation of the European Union (EU) to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Ambassador Valeriano Diaz, paying a farewell courtesy call on Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, in Barbados discussions of regional integration took priority.
Ambassador Diaz stressed that CARICOM is not stalled but evolving, while pointing out that the regional countries cannot do without each other.
The Foreign Affairs Minister explained that resources were critical and that the partners face challenges because of the financial recession.
She also pointed out that CARICOM needed to be selective with its priorities, so that the region’s people would be recipients of the benefits that are to be derived.
Senator McClean also said that CARICOM has achieved a lot, and some of the biggest concerns are food security, so we need to focus on agriculture, and, as a result, regional maritime transportation is important as this would stimulate greater trade.
McClean expressed gratitude for the role the ambassador played over the past four years in Barbados as head of the EU delegation, as Diaz will leave the island shortly to take up a new post in Brussels.