The Barbados-China Connection: “A Word Of Caution”
There is a lot of activity recently between Barbados and China being reported as a positive national development. However the Bajan politicians brokering our relationship with China need to be “cautious” and look beyond the “clear” benefit of opening new markets to Bajan businesses to things “not so clear”.
There is a Barbados National Security component to the relationship being established China which needs to be carefully evaluated by folks that understand “China”. China in recent years has focused diplomatic efforts on many African nations (having embassies in almost all) and now is focused on the Caribbean.
We need to ensure that at the “end of the day” whatever China is getting out of the Barbados-China relationship does not “adversely impact” the average bajan man or woman, noting China ability to product low cost goods which would drive cost down and make it hard for bajan small businesses, at a time we trying to promote small business development. There is a real risk of killing key components of the Barbados small business community if this relationship is not carefully analysis from both near term and long range perspectives, the phase “ good from FAR but FAR from good” comes to mind”.
So beyond the daily photo opportunities we see in the papers between Bajan and Chinese government official, “a real caution exists”. The current government has not demonstrated an effective ability in crafting international trade relationships, an example of this is our current high prices at the pump. The government need not to pretend that they know what they are doing when dealing with an economic great like China, and seek the appropriate academic and consulting guidance needed to ensure that our Barbados National Security interest are protected during all the sweet talk.