Prime Minister Allen Chastanet held formal discussions today with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet saying the talks were fruitful with the two sides discussing trade and agriculture and Bachelet pledging her support for female entrepreneurship in St Lucia.
The government of St Lucia rolled out the red carpet to welcome the Chilean President Thursday as she commenced a two-day official state visit to the island.
Bachelet, the first female President of Chile, met Friday with the cabinet of ministers.
“One always looks, sometimes, at these meetings from a cynical perspective; what are they about. I have to say to you Madame President I have found the last couple of hours that we’ve been able to spend together incredibly fruitful, almost begging the question why we’ve not had this meeting before,” Chastanet said.
As an immediate follow up to the meeting, the Prime Minister said two senior St Lucian Ministers will soon be visiting Chile. Infrastructure Minister Stephenson King will travel there for a meeting on energy.
Chastanet said he’s also encouraging the Agriculture Minister Ezechiel Joseph to visit the South American nation to dialogue on Agricultural best practices and search for ways Chile can help St Lucia to boost its agricultural sector.
In remarks following their closed door discussions, Prime Minister Chastanet announced that President Bachelet had agreed to donate US$100,000 dollars to support entrepreneurship among women in St Lucia.
Bachelet said the historic first official visit by a Chilean President to St Lucia reflects the importance that Chile gives to St Lucia and the mutual respect and friendship shared between the two nations.
She said Chile and St Lucia share many points of views of issues of interest to the two sides, both bilaterally as well as at the regional and international levels.
She said the nations also had shared concerns on climate change and raising seas. She said the two sides will continue discussions on trade.
“One of the good things is that we have complementary economies. We don’t have the kind of things that you produce here. Many of them we don’t produce in Chile. So we are not adversaries so we can work together. And I can imagine that Chileans would love to have the possibility of consuming fantastic shrimps….lobsters, and of course bananas and so many other things. We do not produce any of those so I can say, improve and enhance our possibilities in trade,” Bachelet said.
Prime Minster Chastanet said he was looking forward to a long lasting and continued relationship with the Latin American country