Barbados and Switzerland discuss relations

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Oct. 18, CMC – Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Jerome Walcott says there is   potential for Barbados and Switzerland to deepen their bilateral relations. 
Following a recent courtesy call by the Ambassador of Switzerland to Barbados, Didier Chassot, Walcott said  tourism and health  were idenfifed as areas for possible cooperation.
The Foreign Affairs Minister said Barbados“recognized and appreciated” Switzerland’s observer status in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) when the European  nation joined the regional body in February 2017. 
He added that the island had benefitted from Swiss scholarships in agriculture, medicine, pharmacy and diplomacy, and shared that approximately 5000 tourists visited Barbados last year. Walcott noted Switzerland’s interest in disaster risk reduction; stating that climate change and disaster mitigation were priorities for Barbados.
“Swiss people do travel, so there is a possibility for us to attract more.  We hope to broaden and make ourselves more popular in Switzerland.”
Walcott also suggested that there should be some collaboration in orthopaedic techniques, since the Swiss are renowned in this area.  “It would be beneficial to expose local surgeons to such techniques,” he said.
Ambassador Chassot remarked that he was impressed with Barbados’ “new impetus to CARICOM affairs”.  He said his country has placed disaster risk reduction and assistance as a priority.
He also noted that the areas of disaster risk reduction, management and resilience would be a strong priority for his country and he believed this was a “good fit” for cooperation with CARICOM. 
Barbados and the Swiss confederation established formal diplomatic ties on March 4, 1980. 

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