By Carlena Knight
Following the inauguration of Paul Ryan, the country’s first honorary consul to Indonesia, the Foreign Affairs Minister revealed plans for the twin island nation to further “expand its global footprint”.
EP Chet Greene, explained that plans are in the works to strengthen ties with the “motherland”, Africa.
“As we speak to that footprint and the appointment or recommendation for appointments, I will say to the people who are gathered here that there are other opportunities that exist because we are very deliberately now hitting the African continent for similar relations,” Greene said during last week’s ceremony.
He explained the motivation behind such a move.
“Not only is it based on historic ties, for we know that our gene pool comes from West Africa primarily, but because we see in those relations meaningful benefits for Antiguans and Barbudans who are involved,” Greene explained.
Because of these plans, the minister made a call for Antiguans and Barbudans to fill diplomatic positions, similar to Ryan’s, that will be made available.
“We are trying to cut the transit times by air. We are trying to increase the level of imports of goods and services, and so Indonesia in the south eastern Asian area is a part of what we are doing.
“But, again, to young Antiguan professionals like Paul who wish to serve this country or wish to represent the interest of other countries to Antigua and Barbuda, there are several other appointments on the way in which we are looking for qualified Antiguans and Barbudans to serve,” he shared.
Greene was speaking at the ceremony where Ryan, a local businessman, was announced as the first ever Indonesian consul. It was also the official opening ceremony for the office on the premises of the Antigua Motors Ltd on Old Parham Road.
The ceremony, which was initially scheduled for March 2020, had been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ryan assumed his duties as honorary consul in 2019.