Press Release:-In light of the cordial nature that characterizes bilateral relations between Venezuela and the Caribbean countries, a delegation spearheaded by Mr. Jesus Faria, Venezuela’s Minister for External Commerce and International Trade, completed a tour of some Caribbean countries (Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica) – with Saint Lucia being its final stop – in order to promote inter-regional trade with Venezuela and the rest of the Caribbean.
The delegation was welcomed by Honourable Bradley Felix – Minister for Commerce, Industry, Investment, Business Development and Consumer Affairs. This encounter revealed that although both countries belong to the same geographic space, to date, they have yet to achieve satisfactory levels in the areas of commerce and co-operation. Also present at the meeting were Leo Preville, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce; Nancy Francis, Investment Director; H.E. Leiff Escalona, the Venezuelan Ambassador to Saint Lucia; José Lin Gómez, Deputy Secretary of Petrocaribe; the technical team of the Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Ministry; the Executive Secretary of Petrocaribe and Ministry of Foreign Trade.
Minister Faria expressed that the Venezuelan government is currently in the process of finalizing details to establish a sea route, with minimum obstacles, to facilitate trading amongst the countries of the region. He also stated, “We have presented this proposal to the governments of some Eastern Caribbean countries and intend to present it to all of Central America in order to strengthen the economic integration amongst sister countries”.
For his part, Minister Bradley Felix expressed his appreciation to the Government of Venezuela for the initiative to create a maritime route in the Caribbean region, and in turn, took the opportunity to invite Venezuela, to participate in the “Trade Exhibition 2017” of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), from 9 to 12 March to identify companies from those countries interested in exporting to Venezuela. The Venezuelan minister expressed his thanks for the invitation and in turn invited the Saint Lucian Government and members from the manufacturing and commercial sector to participate in the annual trade fair organized by Petrocaribe. Over 35 countries participated in the “Petrocaribe Pavillion 2016” last year.
The Venezuelan minister has expressed his country’s willingness to set up a technical workshop in the coming days geared at studying the production, export and import profiles of the manufacturing and commercial sectors in Saint Lucia so as to establish the link with the National Council of Productive Economy – comprising of a variety of Venezuelan companies – which has been established in Venezuela for that purpose.
Finally, the Venezuelan government once again reaffirmed its friendship, solidarity and co-operation with the peoples of the Caribbean, and its intention to continue to promote the integration policy promoted by Commander Hugo Chavez which President Maduro has continued to strengthen through ALBA and Petrocaribe.