The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is responsible for facilitating and coordinating Barbados’ international relations through the promotion of healthy associations with foreign governments, and regional and international organisations. The ministry is tasked with building healthy bilateral relations through the negotiation and monitoring of treaties. Promoting the economic and cultural interests of Barbados through its embassies forms an integral part of the process. Barbados has been a member of the Commonwealth since 1966. It also belongs to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the United Nations (UN).
Bilateral co-operation exists between Barbados and many countries. There are about 19 foreign embassies and consulates located in the country, most of which are in the capital, Bridgetown. Barbados and Canada, which maintains a high commission in Bridgetown, have a long-standing relationship and many bilateral agreements are maintained between the two countries, including a Double Taxation Agreement and a Foreign Investment Protection Agreement. Barbados forms part of Canada’s constituency at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) also undertakes various development initiatives in Barbados, including providing scholarships for higher education. Aside from the other Caribbean countries, Barbados also maintains healthy relations with China, the United States and many European Union countries, several of which have embassies or consulates in Bridgetown.
Barbados maintains embassies, high commissions and consulates in nearly 41 countries around the world. As a member of the United Nations (UN), Barbados works towards international economic development, security and peace. Barbados is a proponent of open dialogue between states, and it uses international and regional organisations like the UN and the Organisation of American States (OAS) as a platform for the negotiation of multilateral treaties. The Government of Barbados takes pride in the fact that since independence in 1966, it has initiated efforts to establish diplomatic relations with over 100 countries in the global community. Barbados embassies around the world can be contacted for information on consular matters such as visas, passports and travel.