St Vincent and the Grenadines opens Northern Ireland consulate general

St Vincent and the Grenadines has become the first Caribbean nation, first Commonwealth Realm, first developing state and only the fourth country in the world to establish a full resident diplomatic presence in Northern Ireland.

The small country - with a population of around 110,000 - has opened a consulate general in Comber, a town with historical links to the West Indies.

The country established diplomatic relations with the UK on its Independence Day, 27 October 1979, and Ireland on 30 April 2015.

Dr Christopher Stange, Consul General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Northern Ireland, said: “The decision of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs is part of a wider commitment to the diplomatic network to further international relations.

“Northern Ireland has been identified as an emerging market with an increasing Caribbean community, peace and stability, coinciding with 2018 marking the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

“Expansion overseas, especially in emerging economies, is a sign of the importance St. Vincent and the Grenadines places on its diplomatic presence on the ground. This allows us to work more effectively to further trade, cultural, sport and international links between countries.”

David Sterling, head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, added: “We welcome the establishment of this new consulate office here. I congratulate Dr Stange on his appointment as Consul General for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and we look forward to learning more about each other and opportunities for co-operation.”