The Prime Minister said TT and Barbados will share some of their diplomatic missions, speaking at the signing of an energy treaty with Bajan Prime Minister Mia Mottley on Monday in Barbados. Mottley said hard times mean both nations must seek efficiency by collaborating in as many areas as possible.
Rowley said both nations are stronger together and will to cooperate in every possible area, such as sharing some missions. “TT has a mission in Nigeria. Barbados is about to operationalise its mission in Ghana, where TT has significant interests. We also have interests in energy, commerce, culture and diplomacy. Where we have missions in that part of the world, TT and Barbados will enter into an MOU (to) share a mission a country.
“Each country will have a larger number of footprints. Where TT is present in Nigeria and Barbados is not, we operationalise that mission as a TT and Barbados mission. Where Ghana has a Barbados mission, it will be operationalised as a TT and Barbados mission.”
He said in Nigeria, a Bajan will serve under the TT high commissioner, and in Ghana a TT official will be second to the Bajan high commissioner.
“We’ll share the cost of the mission and the staff.” He expected Barbados will soon share TT’s mission in South Africa, while TT will share the Barbados mission in Kenya. “Barbados has done a lot of work in recent times to open the door for us in Kenya.” Rowley said the two nations will share accommodation, staff, costs and benefits in South Korea.
As Mottley chimed in to say “Dubai”, Rowley foresaw a shared mission in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Mottley said the initiative was not new, as Barbados and Guyana had shared their London mission in 1966. “There are areas in this global village where we are required to be present but may not have the capacity to go full throttle on our own. It makes sense.”
She said TT and Barbados align on many foreign policy issues. Mottley said missions must exist where Caribbean citizens are at, rather than just a North Atlantic presence.
Saying every other person she had met on a recent trip to TT had a Bajan name, she hoped the two nations could collaborate more. Rowley said the Caribbean must be more prominent in the entity which replaces the Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) grouping.