By Sheena Forde-Craigg
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (GIS) – Air connectivity between Barbados and Rwanda will be critical in strengthening their economic and cultural ties.
Minister of tourism and international transport, Ian Gooding-Edghill, emphasised at the start of the Business Mission from Rwanda to Barbados Forum, being held at the Hilton Resort Barbados, from August 3 to 8.
“Indeed, air connectivity between our two countries is fundamental to realising our shared vision of strengthening economic and cultural ties…. Establishing direct flights between Rwanda and Barbados will not only reduce travel time but also open new avenues for collaboration, trade and tourism,” Gooding-Edghill stated.
He added that the crucial step of establishing air links will serve as a bridge to unite the people of both countries. “Tourism has the power to transcend boundaries; promote mutual understanding; and uplift both our economies for the greater good of our people, in keeping with the ‘South-South’ ethos; we are stronger together,” he stated.
The minister encouraged participants to take advantage of the facial interaction, thereby explaining objectives; sharing best practices; and exchanging knowledge, ideas, expertise and resources, with the aim of driving both economies forward and bringing prosperity to communities while enhancing the lives of citizens.
Meanwhile, Rwanda’s minister of state in charge of the East African Community at the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Professor Nshuti Manasseh, noted that the forum would help to establish partnerships for economic growth between Rwanda and Barbados.
Professor Manasseh said: “The natural beauty of Barbados, paired with the hospitality of your people has positioned Barbados as a highly sought-after destination for global travellers. Recognising the significance of tourism in driving economic growth, Rwanda is eager to explore the potential, meaningful collaboration in this realm.”
He noted that both countries are endowed with unique landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and resilient people known for their warmth and hospitality. “Today, we stand united to capitalise on these inherent strengths and forge a path towards a future that will yield mutual benefits,” he stated.
In addition, the Rwandan minister pointed out that although the two countries are geographically separated, they share common values rooted in progress and development. He extended an invitation to Barbadian investors to learn more about Rwanda and to explore the many opportunities available in various sectors.
The other areas which will be discussed at the forum include financial services; agriculture and agro-processing; ICT; medical tourism; health services; life sciences; biotech and film. Barbados and Rwanda established diplomatic relations on July 23, 2015.