Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda the Honourable Gaston Browne, on Friday welcomed four new ambassadors into the country’s diplomatic service.
In a ceremony to present Instruments of Appointment, Governor General Dr. Rodney Williams, acting on the instructions of Prime Minister Browne, appointed Mr. Brian Stuart-Young as Non-Resident Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China; Mr. Gilbert Antoine Boustany as Ambassador at Large/Consul General of Antigua and Barbuda in Miami, USA; Mr. Johann Lebrecht Hesse as Ambassador to the African Union; and Mr. Ernell Casroy James as Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.
Commenting on the appointments, Prime Minister Browne said that his government wants to ensure that there are individuals in these positions who can help move Antigua and Barbuda forward.
“Our vision is to transform this country into an economic powerhouse in the Caribbean and we have to make sure that we have the right people in the right places and make sure that we have square pegs in square holes and I am confident that these individuals have the capacity to help move the country forward. What we intend to do is to ensure that we integrate our diplomacy with investments and tourism and to have an integrated product that will be superior to our competitors in the Caribbean,” Prime Minister Browne noted.
The country’s leader said that it is his belief that in the near future, Antigua and Barbuda should see more investments and more tourists coming to the country as his government gets the human resources in place in the various capitals of the world. He said that it is also the government’s intention to appoint a number of economic envoys around the world.
“The whole idea is to make sure that we have economic envoys in every single major capital of the world because ultimately we must continue to attract tourists and we must be able to attract investments in a sustainable basis in order to grow the economy. Our goal is to grow the economy by an average of about five percent per annum and in order for that to happen, one must be very assertive about it, perhaps aggressive and do whatever is necessary to make sure that we grow the country’s economy and create opportunities to put the people back to work so that Antiguans and Barbudans can enjoy living standards second to none,” he said.
Prime Minister Browne also announced that within ninety days, Antigua and Barbuda will have a Consul General in the People’s Republic of China working out of a soon to be established Antigua and Barbuda mission there. He said a Canadian has been selected to serve in that capacity and will report to the Non-Resident Ambassador to China, His Excellency Mr. Brian Stuart-Young.
Foreign Affairs Minister, the Hon.. Charles Fernandez, who was also present at the ceremony, said that the individuals selected were appointed almost exclusively on their capacity to serve. He stated that from their qualifications, everyone would recognize that they are poised to make a difference in the country’s diplomatic corps. He said that he is looking forward to their contributions to nation building