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Prime Minister Bruce Golding has put forward a number of areas in which Jamaica is seeking to establish greater co-operation with Brazil.
The areas being considered are the expansion of the tourism market to attract Brazilians to Jamaica, the expansion of commercial trade and the development of sports, particularly as it relates to football. Mr. Golding made the proposals when he met with a Brazilian Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Defense at Jamaica House this morning (Sept 4). The Committee was led by its Chairman, Senator Heraclito Fortes.
In the discussions, Mr. Golding noted that there was a need to look at the multi-lateral arrangements that affect so many countries in the Caribbean and Latin American region, as well as internal relationships that exist, in order to create a platform for greater prosperity. He is of the view, that unless and until this is done, many of the region’s goals, especially in relation to the Millennium Development Goals, will remain a hope and for many countries, a fleeting illusion.
‘My government does not embrace the notion that we are deserving of charity. We feel that the charity we have received in the past may well have unintentionally served as an impediment to our own development. It allowed us the luxury of not dealing with our own internal deficiencies’, Mr. Golding observed.
He said that Jamaica was anxious to engage in dialogue with other countries in the hemisphere and as such Brazil was important as it had made such remarkable advances in technology and is now a major economic force. He said this had inspired us to partner with the Brazilian company Infiniti Bio-Energy to preserve the sugar industry which is vitally important to Jamaica.
The Chairman of the Brazilian Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Defense, Senator Heraclito Fortes, expressed his appreciation for the meeting with the Prime Minister. He welcomed Jamaica’s proposal to establish an embassy in Brazil and to appoint Honourary Consuls in critical Brazilian cities. Senator Fortes said the Committee would be visiting six countries in the Caribbean region as part of a mission to strengthen diplomatic relations. The team has already visited countries in Africa and Asia. Senator Fortes also put forward a proposal for Jamaica to look at the issue of visa requirements to allow for freer and easier travel between the countries.