DIPLOMATIC COURIER – The November 14-17 Brazilian-OECS Business and Parliamentary Mission to Saint Lucia and the OECS has ended here with several projects identified for follow-up by business interests in Brazil and Saint Lucia and the rest of the OECS, as well as an invitation to Brazil.
While here, the Brazilian businesses seeking to do business in the small Eastern Caribbean islands also engaged with their counterparts in the OECS by teleconference.
Facilitated by the OECS Secretariat, the teleconference interfaced the Brazilians with the OECS Business Council.
The regional business entity’s Chairman Gordon Charles and representatives from Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines said they were interested in attracting Brazilian interest in a wide range of business sectors, from water and alternative energy to manufacturing and tourism.
The Saint Lucian and other OECS businesses were also invited by Dr Luis Medeiros, Superintendent of Foreign Trade in (the Brazilian federal State of) Goias, to prepare for a reciprocal visit to his state in the near future.
Brazil’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia and the OECS Commission, Sergio Couri, said: “While this was the first it will not be the only, or the last” encounter between Brazilian and Saint Lucian and OECS business interests.
Charles said it “will now be necessary to put the mechanisms in place to facilitate the business arrangements made during this first contact.”
Head of International Relations at the OECS Commission, Ambassador Anthony Severin, said the Commission “will always be available to do what it takes to facilitate continuing contacts”.
The Brazilian Mission was facilitated by the Brazilian Embassy in Saint Lucia.
Brazilian participation was coordinated by Ricardo Bonilla, a Brazilian business consultant, who attended most of the discussions leading to future business possibilities.
Bonilla says he is very optimistic that the discussions held here and the pending visit to Goias will result in the birth and growth of more and better business between Brazil and Saint Lucia – and the rest of the OECS.