The Bahamas officially welcomed the first Ambassador of the Republic of San Marino, during a ceremony in the Drawing Room of Government House, Thursday, October 16, 2008.

His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes, Deputy to the Governor-General accepted Letters of Credence from Her Excellency Giulia Ghirardi Borghese, accrediting her as that country’s Ambassador to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

“I note our recent establishment of diplomatic relations and recognise that despite limited past opportunities to dialogue, the future abounds with opportunities for the exploration of cooperative initiatives and exchanges particularly in the cultural, economic and technical areas,” Sir Arthur said.

He also acknowledged Ambassador Borghese’s extensive background in culture, which is reinforced by her experience in classical studies, international relations and fluency in Italian, English, French and Spanish.

“This background should prove useful in the discharge of your duties, in particular, your mandate to develop relations between our mutual sectors of tourism and finance,” Sir Arthur said.

He assured Ambassador Borghese of his assistance in any endeavours toward the enrichment of relations between both countries.

Ambassador Borghese said from the beginning, the relations between both countries have been characterised by a “vivid cordiality”, and that she was convinced her appointment represents an opportunity to strengthen relations.

“This is an opportunity to strengthen our friendship in the multilateral field of big international organisations such as the United Nations or in regional organisations such as the European Council for San Marino or the Organisation of American States for The Bahamas,” she said.

“I believe it is important for Small States to establish forms of coordination and consultation on problems of mutual interest as it is very difficult for a Small State to emerge and make its voice heard in a world by big powers.

“Small States could better conduct a more incisive role as in the majority of these organisations each country holds an equal vote,” Ambassador Borghese said.

The Republic of San Marino, one of the European microstates, has the smallest population of all the members of the Council of Europe and one of the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in the world. Tourism accounts for more than 50 per cent of its economic sector.

Its constitution, dating back to 1600, is the world’s oldest written constitution and is still in effect. It is a landlocked enclave, completely surrounded by Italy. Its official language is Italian.