Barbados, China sign visa waiver agreement

Barbados has signed a visa waiver agreement with the People’s Republic of China, paving the way for this country to tap into the 70 million Chinese travelling market.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator Maxine McClean and Chinese Ambassador to Barbados Wang Ke signed the agreement this morning at McClean’s office on Culloden Road, St Michael.

Three years ago, the two countries had signed a visa waiver agreement for holders of diplomatic and service passports.

Today’s pact extended the waiver to holders of ordinary passports.

“The Government of Barbados anticipates that this agreement will make Barbados a more attractive destination for some of the over 70 million Chinese tourist who are increasingly travelling beyond their country and region. This will assist in Government’s effort to diversify our tourism and contribute to strengthening the vital tourism sector and by extension the economy,” McClean said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator Maxine McClean (right) and Chinese Ambassador to Barbados Wang Ke signing the agreement this morning at McClean’s office on Culloden Road, St Michael.

“It will of course now also be easier for Barbadians, who are known to enjoy visiting other countries, to travel to China for business or as tourists. This will serve to expand the opportunities for cooperation and friendship beyond official contacts,” she added.

In a written statement lauding the initiative, Barbados’ Ambassador to China Chelston Brathwaite zeroed in on the opportunities for Barbados to improve its technological proficiency.

“With this increased collaboration, Barbados will benefit in technical expertise and use of the new technologies in such areas as renewable energy and sustainable development. It has been proven that China’s technical expertise is at a high level and it is this expertise that Barbados as a country needs for its overall development,” Brathwaite wrote.

However, he warned those who market Barbados’ tourism that it was necessary to tailor the product to suit the new Chinese demographic that they hope to attract.

“The embassy, in its outreach to the Chinese public, has found that while there is much interest in Barbados and visiting the country, the lack of information, programmes and packages to attract Chinese nationals to visit Barbados is more of a stumbling block than the cost of travel and the limited airlift options that exist.

“It is well-known that the Chinese are going to great lengths and spending significant amounts of money to travel all over the world, but the destination must be prepared to adequately welcome them. We are aware that Chinese are seeking new and different cultural experiences and Barbados is an ideal place to provide the same,” he advised.  

24 Responses to Barbados, China sign visa waiver agreement

  1. Tony Webster March 25, 2017 at 1:45 am

    We have already accepted “assistance” from China, in equipping and other help for the B.D.F. ; the (second) renovation of the Gymnasium. All we now need to do is to let these folks renovate the Coast Guard Base, and run that, in addition to “actively enhancing security” at all ports-of-entry, and peg our dollar to the Renminbi.

    Yesterday, a “non-binding” M.O.U., with Beijing, to build a humungus conference centre at the Needhams’ peninsula, was publicly unveiled.

    I can scarce believe what I am reading. Is the rest of Barbados citizenry, awake?

    • ch March 25, 2017 at 3:14 am

      Wide awake with their mouths shut.
      What is the world’s oldest profession.

    • Jennifer March 25, 2017 at 5:14 am

      @Tony Webster – you really need to desist from criticizing our leaders. They no what they are doing.

  2. Rob. March 25, 2017 at 2:23 am

    How are people from Barbados going to get to china and how are the Chinese going to get to Bim. There are no flights. Slow boat to china springs to mind. If there is a plan let it be laid out so we can all see what it is.

    There is so much more going on here. In a time of uncertainty and mistrust in the current economic times there needs to be complete transparency.

    The Chinese always have a long term plan. So lets hear it…

  3. James Austin Bynoe
    James Austin Bynoe March 25, 2017 at 3:55 am

    They are going to flood barbados with cheap products which will hurt bajan small businesses …. WHAT ARE YOU DOING

    • Sharon Taylor
      Sharon Taylor March 25, 2017 at 8:33 am

      Those products were here long time!

      • Kevin March 25, 2017 at 12:06 pm

        James where you living. The ‘cheap’ products were here eons ago.

  4. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce March 25, 2017 at 4:27 am


  5. Jennifer March 25, 2017 at 5:12 am

    Now if this is not a case of rat tongue selling his head, I do not know what is. But then again if we are clever we can allow this ENTITY in to fight the other ENTITY.

  6. Tony Webster March 25, 2017 at 6:05 am

    @ Jennifer: Good Morning lady….gave me my first chuckle of the day before heading down to BARVEN for my fresh veggies, breadnuts, best home-baked delights in Bim, fresh ladies…
    As for criticism, I do try to offer suggestions…but note your pen’n’brain combo works well too.

    Thank God I am retired; about 5/8 Grenadian…have two adopted boys there and numerous friends…my Plan B, y’know.

    • Jennifer March 25, 2017 at 6:35 am

      Hope you bag some goodies. Enjoy sir.

  7. Richard Johnston March 25, 2017 at 6:50 am

    All those Chinese tourists will be rushing to the unbuilt SLC resort. Sure.

  8. Sheron Inniss March 25, 2017 at 7:55 am

    The oldest profession is prostitution. We have any more silver ware left? I am all for the waiver though. Not the other stuff that I do not know the nitty gritty about.

  9. Mack March 25, 2017 at 8:09 am

    I always worry when I see non elected officials signing agreements on behalf of all Barbadians.
    I also wonder why China is so nice to us , lavishing all these gifts on Barbados. I guess they think we are wonderful people and that is all????? Or is they is something else up???

  10. Dave Person
    Dave Person March 25, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Wait……them did not want to scan and fingerprint everybody the other day? What am I missing here somebody help me.

  11. Donild Trimp March 25, 2017 at 9:11 am

    With the influx of Chinese tourist, the demand will be there for a number of Chinese restaurants to open in Barbados.

    With the opening up of more Chinese restaurants, the demand for more importation of meat products in those white plastic pails from meat packers and meat producers in China.

    I am assuming that by now everyone knows what goes into those white plastic buckets imported from China and distributed to restaurants worldwide.

    Economy built on the hopes of “TOURISM” so welcome to the world of progress.

    More jobs when new restaurants open.

  12. John Q March 25, 2017 at 9:18 am

    The Chinese slowly but surely laying the foundation; u can add the reconstruction of Sam Lords Castle to the list of projects where we accepted ” assistance”. They are slowly making inroads into our businesses and economy. Wake up BAJANS !!!!!!

    • Richard Johnston March 25, 2017 at 9:29 am

      The Chinese project is to built a resort and condominium complex. They are NOT restoring SLC. It’s clear from the sign at the entrance.

  13. Tony Webster March 25, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Hmmmm….guess what the Mandarin translation is for Quid Pro Quo”? How did you ever guess? Yep…its ” Please sign Visa Waiver before SLC loan is disbursed”.
    It’s all understandable to plat off one suitor against the other, but what happens if the first suitor loses interest…or thinks that ” “Buh-baydus” is a type of Mexican tortilla?

    It’s easy to mount a tiger…it’s the dis-mounting bit…that’s well, sorta tricky. Didn’t hear the joke last week that the President of the Chinese Supreme Court cracked? It was a real gut-buster. He said, publicly, so that evahbody in China ( and elsewhere on God’s Green Earth), would be under no misconceptions as to what “the purpose” of their “legal system” was. QUOTE: “It’s purpose is to protect the party” UNQUOTE.

    Go ahead: laugh…out loud.

  14. Benjamin March 25, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    China’s soft power and public diplomacy continues. As small as we are, China needs us just as much as we need them. China’s massive challenge of changing international public’s view of a hardcore confucian, communist country to a nicer one, lies in it’s heavy distribution of foreign aid and other measures such as this.

  15. Quietly Observing March 25, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Wuhnna comments way over my head but do we need more Chinese here?

  16. Jennie Holder March 25, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    China Town coming near you and expect Busty a knock of Busta on the shelves soon. Maxine and GOB hone mad. How come USA or the bigger countries find have such a waiver?

  17. hcalndre March 26, 2017 at 1:15 am

    Have a good look at the Pix. The Senator`s pen is about 12 ins. long. Now with 70 million Chinese traveling the world and Maxine could woo about 1 million to barbados and about 250,000 fall in love with barbados and let Maxine know that they want to stay and set up shop there, would that not be a great achievement for her? Then they could show the bajans how to make counterfeit products like hand bags, jewelry, logos and a variety of other knock-offs. That figure would bring barbados` population to 1/2 million.

  18. Edmund Hsu May 4, 2017 at 4:19 am

    I am a Chinese. I just want to tell all u do not be nervous about that. look at Grenada. the Chinese also can go there without Visa. But it is no influence for Grenada. Of course there is no flight from China to Baobados. I can tell u that most of the Chinese tourists come to Barbados will be nice, gentle and wealthy.
    China is a huge country. We have heard many bad news about the Chinese tourists all over the world. that is because we have a huge population. Huge population means each type of people has a huge number. every country has the bad guys and good guys.
    But I believe that the good Chinese will visit your beautiful country with politeness and gentle.
    I will come to Barbados in the September of this year and whatever it needs Visa or not. Because I like the beautiful beach you have and the good people you are. I will never do bad things to your beautiful country and I hope I can made many friends in Barbados.
    God bless the friendship between Barbados and China.


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