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Press Release


  March 20, 2008

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today welcomed Prime Minister David Thompson of Barbados, to the Organization’s headquarters in Washington. During the Head of Government’s courtesy visit, he exchanged ideas with Insulza and with OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert R. Ramdin on a wide range of hemispheric issues.

During the meeting, the Secretary General and the Prime Minister discussed the progress achieved in relation to the free trade agreements being negotiated in the region. In this regard, Insulza underscored the value of these agreements and the benefits they will bring to the people. Insulza expressed his support and continued commitment to maintain “this issue of priority for the OAS,” on top of the regional Organization’s agenda.

Prime Minister Thompson thanked Secretary Insulza for the “Organization’s contributions in terms of technical cooperation”, to the island nation, underscoring in particular those efforts related to its international trade program.

“Trade promotion is as important as trade negotiations,” Insulza told the visiting delegation, as he stressed the importance of achieving fair and beneficial agreements.

Speaking about the benefits of trade agreements, Insulza noted that they “eliminate tariffs and trade barriers and expand regional opportunities for workers, manufacturers, consumers, farmers, ranchers and service providers,” adding that by improving their economies, the agreements “help countries strengthen their democracies and develop a better life for their citizens.”

Prime Minister Thompson, who took office in January of this year, has also ministerial responsibility for the portfolios of Finance, Economic Affairs and Development, Labor, the Civil Service and Energy. The newly elected Prime Minister was accompanied on the visit by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Christopher Peter Sinckler and the Ambassador of Barbados to the OAS, Michael King.

Reference: E-091/08