By Julie Carrington
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (BGIS) — Barbados’ efforts to be a major player on the world stage could not be achieved unless there was an embassy in areas such as the Middle East to broaden the country’s foreign policy agenda.
Prime minister Mia Amor Mottley made this point yesterday as she officially opened the island’s first mission in the Middle East located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
She told her audience that the embassy had opened at a time when the island was grappling with domestic and international challenges, including low population growth and insufficient cumulative savings liquidity that would be needed to tackle major development challenges to achieve stability and a transformation of the nation.
‘It, therefore, was incumbent upon us, in addition to wanting to be fully responsible for our destiny, and to be firm craftsmen of our fate, not just strict guardians of our heritage, for us to be able to set out a framework that leverages all that can be leveraged internationally, and our ability to be able to nurture and create and produce global citizens with Bajan roots,” Mottley stated.
The prime minister articulated the view that the North Atlantic approach that had informed the island’s foreign policy could no longer be “the basis upon which we could go forward.”.
She added that Barbados’ voice in regional and multilateral fora, must be heard if we are “going to be at the table” to create the fiscal and policy space that the country needs at this time.
“And it’s against that backdrop that we recognise, therefore, that we had to have a different foreign policy and that our foreign policy is as much about the domestic stability of our nation as it is about anything else.” Motley underlined.