Gonsalves attends talks on renewable energy, tourism
June 25, 2010
Gonsalves attends talks on renewable energy, tourism

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines deepened its relations with two key European allies and discussed areas for greater cooperation during official visits to Germany and Portugal by United Nations Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves.{{more}}

Gonsalves was part of multi-state delegations investigating opportunities in renewable energy, tourism and development cooperation.

Ambassador Gonsalves was selected as chairman of a 10-country delegation of small island states that visited Germany from June 8-12. Ambassadors from Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Fiji, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Maldives, Papua New Guinea and St. Lucia also participated in the visit.

In Berlin, Gonsalves met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and held discussions with a number of government officials, including Mr. Guido Westerwelle, Federal Foreign Minister of Germany; Dr. Christoph Heusgen, Foreign Policy and Security Advisor to Chancellor Merkel; Ruprecht Polenz, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the German Bundestag; Ursula Heinen-Esser, Parliamentary State Secretary for Ministry of the Environment, Nature Preservation and Nuclear Security; Harald Klein, Director General at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; and Andreas Jung, Managing Director of the German Energy Agency.

The delegation also held meetings with representatives of Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering conglomerate, DecRen Water Consult, and SOLON SE, which is one of the leading European producers of solar models and power stations.

Gonsalves discussed foreign policy, renewable energy projects, bilateral development assistance and scholarship opportunities with the German officials.

After returning from Germany, Ambassador Gonsalves joined a 24-country delegation for an official visit to Portugal, from June 17-21. The delegation, which included countries from Africa, Europe, the Pacific and the Caribbean, met under the theme “Renewable Energies in Portugal – a strategic partnership for the future.” The meetings centered on briefings by Portuguese energy conglomerate Energias de Portugal (EDP) and its renewable energy subsidiary EDP Renováveis. Visits to wind farms and wind turbine factories also formed parts of the activities in Portugal.

Members of the delegation also toured some rural tourism establishments, which combined tourism attractions within functioning farms and vineyards, as part of the Portuguese government’s sustainable development plan for the region.

While in Portugal, Gonsalves held discussions with Dr. João Gomes Cravinho, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Portugal. Ambassador Gonsalves briefed Dr. Cravinho on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ progress with the Argyle International Airport and other areas of cooperation in advance of Dr. Cravinho’s June 21 visit to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.