Barbados, China sign visa waiver agreement

Barbados’ Foreign Minister Maxine Pamela Ometa McClean addresses the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016.
Associated Press / Andres Kudacki, File

Barbados and China have signed a visa waiver agreement, which would see citizens of Barbados and China now entering each other’s territory with an ordinary passport.

The agreement was signed last week between China’s Ambassador Wang Ke and Barbados Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Maxine McClean.

The agreement follows the initialing of a reciprocal agreement three years ago that removed visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, official, and service passports.

Senator McClean described the signing of the agreement as a “significant bilateral achievement. This waiver agreement marks a milestone in the relationship between Barbados and the People’s Republic of China and it is fitting that it should take place as we are making preparations to celebrate 40 years of bilateral relations in May this year.”

She said that government anticipated that the agreement would make Barbados a “more attractive destination” for the over 70 million Chinese tourists who were traveling beyond their country and region each year.

Ambassador of China to Barbados Wange Ke agreed that the signing of the agreement was another milestone in the countries’ relations and said it would make a significant contribution to people-to-people exchanges and bilateral cooperation.

She expressed the hope that the visa waiver would lead to an increased number of Chinese tourists to the island, and also welcomed more Barbadian travelers to experience China.

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