Barbados is looking to expand its trade relations with Brazil, and to this end, Government is spearheading a Political/Commercial Mission to that country – the largest in South America.
The one-week Mission began on Saturday, September 14, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, will lead the delegation.
Senator McClean pointed out that one of the major aims of the Mission was to identify opportunities to utilise excess production capacities which exist in a number of sectors across Barbados. “It also seeks to reaffirm Barbados’ commitment to maintaining excellent relations with Brazil on a political and diplomatic level, to facilitate the making of relevant contacts, and engagement in discussions on any areas of concern or interest in the course of relations between the two countries,” she explained.
According to her, the objectives are to showcase Barbados’ product and services offerings; enhance the foreign exchange earning capacity of local businesses; provide local manufacturers with the opportunity to establish business relations; identify possible sources of raw materials for local producers; promote this country as a tourist and business investment destination; facilitate increased market penetration through direct export, joint venture and or franchising; and further strengthen the bilateral relationship with Brazil.
The Minister said Barbados was also interested in capitalising on the South American country’s vast experience in sugar cane production and agriculture. “I think what is to my mind very useful, would be technology to assist us in building our agricultural sector…because we are not only focusing on supplying them with a limited mix of products and services, but also looking at how we can enhance our manufacturing base by looking at technical support [and]…methods of production,” she indicated.
Brazil is seen as the most dynamic country within the Latin American region with regard to the export of services. With a population of almost 200 million and an abundance of natural resources, it is considered one of the fastest growing major economies in the world and has been ranked as the 20th leading importer of services. Barbados will therefore be seeking to tap into this area.