Barbados and Morocco strengthen ties
Barbadian and Moroccan officials have drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on technical cooperation aimed at widening the areas in which both countries could collaborate.
This followed a recent high-level meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, on Culloden Road, St Michael, between government officials from Barbados and Morocco.
The sectors represented at the meeting were agriculture, economic affairs, foreign affairs, health, and tourism.
Currently, there is bilateral cooperation in agriculture under which Barbados receives technical assistance, and has benefited from a Moroccan grant fertilizer programme and Soil Fertility Mapping Project. Morocco has also granted scholarships to Barbadians.
The draft MOU outlines capacity building through technical assistance, training and expert visits, as well as grant funding and financial assistance opportunities.
Of particular interest was potential collaboration in tourism, as Morocco is a leading North African tourist destination. Eleven million people visited that country in 2017.
Pertaining to health, officials discussed the impact of chronic non-communicable diseases, as this is a major issue for both countries. They also looked at hospital governance and management, as well as climate change and its impacts on health.
Under agriculture, they explored collaboration in many areas, including fisheries, food processing and food safety for exporting.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott said he was delighted at the offer of technical assistance and looked forward to strengthening the relationship between the two nations.
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dr. Abderrahim Kadmiri, noted that the meeting had positive outcomes for both sides.
He stressed that Barbados and Morocco were leaders in their respective regions and the MOU could enhance relations and facilitate integration.