May 13, 2011
Gonsalves meets Brazil investors

During his recent investment mission to Brazil, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves met with several investors to explore opportunities for a number of sectors here and in the Latin American country.{{more}}

Gonsalves, who travelled to Brazil, on Thursday, May 5, joined two employees of Invest SVG, Cleo Jones-Huggins, Chief Executive Officer, and Jean Martin.

The Invest SVG duo had travelled to Brazil a few days earlier than Gonsalves to make arrangements for the mission.

While there, the team met with the organisers of an investment agency in São Paulo, and also with some investors and exchanged ideas on how both countries could work on: tourism, construction, manufacturing, fish processing, packaging, international financial services, trade in goods, and air services, etc.

Gonsalves also met with Brazilian jet maker Embraer. He said this meeting was held in relation to a decision taken earlier this year by LIAT’s shareholders to have fleet renewal and expansion that can be developed into a possible jet service. Gonsalves used the opportunity to reiterate that some of the aircraft operated by LIAT have become expensive to maintain.

While in Brazil, Gonsalves also met with the Head of the Caribbean Division of the Foreign Ministry, who had journeyed from Brasília to meet with him in São Paulo.

The Prime Minister said he was unable to meet with Brazil’s Foreign Minister as he had to return to St.Vincent and the Grenadines a bit early, but he is hoping to meet with the Minister at a regional meeting of the Caribbean and Latin America in Venezuela, early July.

Gonsalves expressed that his trip was a tiring one, having left St.Vincent and the Grenadines on Thursday, May 5, for Brazil and arriving the following day. He said shortly after his arrival he entered a series of meetings that had him retiring for the day at about 11:30p.m.

The Prime Minister also met with St.Vincent and the Grenadines’ Honorary Consul in São Paulo, Guiliano Vincenzo Locanto.

Explaining his Government’s rationale for exploring opportunities in Brazil, Gonsalves said Brazil has the eight largest economy in the world as well as 190 million people, the largest population of persons of African decent of the Diaspora.

“If you have a country that powerful, that strong, growing, so close to us, though yet not enough links, it is part of our duty to build those links, and, of course, to look for the investments there,” said Gonsalves.

Gonsalves credited former Brazilian President Lula da Silva for establishing the links with the Caribbean. He noted that Brazil’s current President, Dilma Rousseff, is continuing in that same vein.